Derby City Council’s Community Safety Team  and the Multi Agency Disruption Team at Derbyshire Constabulary have teamed up to offer the ‘Your Choice’ programme in secondary schools across the City. The programme focuses upon the importance of young people making smart choices and the consequences and impact if they take the wrong path.

There are 12 events arranged over the next 6 months and Your Choice will be presented to hundreds of 13-15 year olds to help them consider their decisions in respect of drugs, alcohol, sexual exploitation, organised crime, racism and extremism.

The programme is intended to encourage young people to consider the choices they make and the impact that a split second decision can have on their lives and that of other people

Young people will meet and listen to the experiences of a number of independent guest speakers. They have dealt with extreme hardships and found themselves in very difficult positions in their lives.

They are able to demonstrate the impact that making the wrong choice can have on your life as well as showing how young people can turn that around by ultimately making the right ones.

The presentations have in the past made a huge impact and the content is very relevant to young people of today.

DCC Community Safety Team who funds this initiative said:

It is a privilege to support the Your Choice program, the speakers and the life stories they share are inspirational and motivational.

One year 10 student said hearing the speaker’s personal stories has ‘changed his life.’

Councillor Asaf Afzal said:

It is great that we can provide funding for such a powerful initiative. The group of speakers have remarkable stories and it helps educate pupils on the importance of making smart choices and some of the consequences if they make the wrong ones. But not only that it shows everyone that no matter how bad a choice you make you can make amends and turn your life around.

Guest speaker Dr Manny Barot said:

If we can help young people make choices that will leave to positive outcomes in their lives then our efforts are worth it.

Staff at the Bemrose school said:

‘I thought it was excellent! The year 10 students  I have spoken too found it very informative and powerful, and I thought they listened brilliantly.’

‘It was very thought provoking and moving. I only got to listen for an hour and found it deeply moving. My year 10s period 5 were talking about how much they enjoyed it and how they thought the speakers were fantastic. It was really good to see these issues being dealt with and discussed in an open and mature way. It would definitely have made a difference and made some our students think.’

‘Very powerful! I think that 99% of our students were brilliant. I was watching their reactions and loads were mesmerised!’