Police education: Yr 11 Citizenship talk with hard-hitting message

Year 11 students recently had the privilege of partaking in a hard-hitting lesson on the dangers of drug and knife crime provided by the Metropolitan Police as part of their Citizenship studies.

Reformed drug addict Paul Hannaford gave a brutally honest account of his early life involved in drugs, knife crime and gangs during a presentation to students. Hosted by Miss Love, Course Leader for Citizenship, the session was highly enjoyed by the students. Such events form part of the school’s Character Curriculum. Many thanks go to Mr Wallace for his help in the running of the event.

Students reflected on the talk and some have shared their thoughts below:

"Paul Hannaford coming into school to talk about his life and the consequences of his bad decisions was very powerful and had a big impact on how I now look at things. He showed us all how serious drugs were whilst keeping a light-hearted tone. I am sure his speech made all Year 11 students think about their future and what they what to do with their lives. Mostly, what they do not want to do and what not to do essentially as it will influence your future life. He taught us that the decisions you make when you are our age, maybe which are highly influenced by our peers can have a huge impact on our future chances and we may regret those choices later in life. Paul’s use of photos and showing us his wounds reinforced this lesson with us all and changed the way many of my peers and myself saw the importance of our time at school."

MASHIA, Year 11

"During form time, we learnt about three mysterious cases on crimes and Paul Hannaford happened to be one of them. I was surprised that it was Paul who was there when we arrived in the hall for Citizenship. In the assembly with him, we learned about the massive impact he had in his life after turning to drugs and gang life. We learned about him nearly losing his life due to drugs; what life was like in gangs; and how we need to avoid these type of acts as he told us first-hand what the effect had been. Overall, learning about Paul’s life story was a huge eye opener on how much of a negative impact drugs could have in one’s life. Paul’s speech could have saved many lives of the boys and girls in that assembly hall the day he came. They learnt the harsh reality of drug use preventing them from taking that route in life."

TANJILA, Year 11

"The assembly we had with Paul gave me, along with my peers, a huge insight into the harsh reality of drug use and knife crime. I hugely admire Paul’s passion and strength to be able to share his story with us. It made me imagine myself in his position, and how I would never what to go through the same experiences. One quote that he said that I will never forget is ‘I went through it, so that you won’t have to’. Thank you Mr Hannaford."

ENAS, Year 11

"Paul Hannaford coming into school was very influential and interesting. He spoke to us about his life in a very honest way. He showed us what gang life looked like and what can be lost through mistakes. He told us about the life-threating decisions that he had to make and the struggles of those very decisions. He showed us through pictures of how drugs and crime can affect your body. His message hit us all quite hard. I hope to spread the message that he taught us that day. Paul said that, ‘You get a whole future ahead of you, don’t go for the wrong choices, try your best to make the right ones.’"