Drink and drug abuse in The Alnwick Garden

Gibber Theatre Group actors at Alnwick Garden. Picture by Mark Pinder.
Gibber Theatre Group actors at Alnwick Garden. Picture by Mark Pinder.

The Alnwick Garden is about to begin its annual programme offering support to children and teenagers feeling the pressures of drugs, alcohol and sexting – in a programme that has been 100 per cent funded through public donations dropped into a coffin in the attraction’s Poison Garden.

Together with Gibber Theatre Company, the Garden is once again tackling the real issues that young people are experiencing, culminating in the development of a Reality Roadshow exploring the unsavoury effects and situations that drugs, alcohol and sexting can cause.

Not one to shy away from controversy, the Duchess of Northumberland is keen to tackle the current situation and help young people understand the long-term consequences of these actions.

She said: “In an ideal world we wouldn’t need to run such programmes for young people but it is important to address the issues rather than pretend they don’t exist.

“If we can help even a few youngsters to learn that drink and drugs aren’t doing them any favours in the long-term and to understand the value of self-respect, then I believe we’re doing something truly worthwhile.

“Advances in technology mean that young people can see their mistakes being played out to online followers and we want to help them to avoid lasting damage to themselves and their reputations.”

The Reality Roadshow is a high-energy magazine-style interactive roadshow featuring tours of The Poison Garden and The Grand Cascade.

It involves teenagers interacting in a series of dynamic, hard-hitting, realistic scenarios which show young people indulging in varying degrees of risky behaviour. This will include alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, cannabis misuse and compromised sexual behaviour.

Around 200 secondary school pupils will be taking part in the roadshows with a further 400 primary school children participating in workshops about taking risks and peer pressure.