Drug addiction can impact individuals of all ages, genders, ethnicities, backgrounds and professions.

Helix Arts has employed artists with personal experience including rapper, actor and writer Kema Kay (star of ‘I Daniel Blake’), who worked with young people from Foundation Futures to create track ‘It’s all on you’ to share their emotional insight into the lives of these youngsters.

Helix Arts has transformed masses of findings of its latest endeavour into a captivating experience for both the public and fellow youth and created an immersive journey guided by the expressions of young people, conveyed through mediums such as music, spoken word, poetry, graphic art, animation and more.

Key highlights:

Exploration with Purpose: Helix Arts, commissioned by Public Health and North Tyneside Council, embarked on a mission to delve into the perceptions and realities surrounding drug use among young individuals within the borough. Employing a creative lens, the project aimed to uncover the underlying factors driving substance abuse, its physiological and societal impacts, and the pathways to recovery.

Youth-Led Inquiry: Embracing diverse creative methodologies, Helix Arts collaborated with a spectrum of stakeholders including schools, community centres, and youth organisations like Foundation Futures, Barnardo’s 128 The Base, Phoenix Detached Youth Project, PROPS North East, Silverdale School, George Stephenson High School, Churchill Community College, among others. Over 40 engaging workshops involving 415 young participants provided a platform for candid discussions and reflections on various facets of drug misuse.

Unveiling Insights: From the candid discussions emerged a tapestry of insights shedding light on the nuances of drug consumption among youth. Notable revelations included the prevalent use of cannabis-based products such as pens and vapes, the influence of familial and social circles in initiating substance use, and the allure of forbidden substances due to their illicit nature.

Impactful Dissemination: Departing from conventional report formats, Helix Arts is committed to amplifying the voices of youth by translating their narratives into accessible formats. A culmination of these narratives awaits the public at an immersive event hosted at North Tyneside Business Centre, offering an interactive platform to engage with the findings first-hand. Additionally, a regional gathering is slated to convene stakeholders for deeper discussions on the campaign’s implications.

“Our innovative approach empowers young individuals to share their experiences authentically, ensuring their voices resonate with peers through mediums they resonate with, be it TikTok tracks or YouTube animations. By fostering informed dialogue, #Never not only empowers youth with knowledge but also fosters understanding among parents and caregivers.”

Cheryl Gavin, Director at Helix Arts

“The Council wanted to work differently to understand young people and work towards achieving a generational shift in the demand for drugs. I knew Helix Arts did things differently, taking high quality, creative and unusual approaches to understand what is going on with communities. I was blown away when we started hearing from young people, especially when I heard, It’s all on you.”

Behnam Khazaeli Head of Public Health Commissioning from North Tyneside Council

Participant Testimonials:

“I think everyone was shocked at how good it was.”

Maddison, Foundation Futures participant

“The progress they have made has been really amazing… They have been more focused on mental health and talking about their own personal struggles.”

Jennie Dixon, Foundation Futures

“It shows that it gets worse before it gets better… it is generally all on you.”

Harley, Participant

For further information and to come along the free event, please register on EVENTBRITE.

The immersive experience will take place at Helix Arts, North Tyneside Business Centre, 54a Saville St, North Shields NE30 1NT.

Join us in amplifying the voices of youth and fostering a community of understanding through #Never.

For more information about Helix Arts visit https://www.helixarts.com/

Get Newcastle Magazine direct to your inbox.

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here