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Drugs play ‘Wings to Fly’ celebrates sixteen years

Published in News on Thursday March 15th, 2012. Last updated at 14:30

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Powerful anti-drugs play0′ Wings to Fly’ returns to Blackwood Miners’ Institute for the sixteenth year running this week.

The play has been seen by more than 26,000 Year 6 pupils (aged ten and 11) since 1996 and is a key tool in educating youngsters about substance misuse.

‘Wings to Fly’, written by Margaret Rooney, a former Arts Development Officer for Caerphilly County Borough Council, tackles the real consequences of substance misuse through the story of 14-year-old Penguin who succumbs to peer pressure and experiments with drugs. Around 2,500 pupils will attend the week-long schedule at Blackwood Miners’ Institute.

‘Wings to Fly’ was originally started by the Blackwood Crime Prevention Panel as part of a response to drug use. The play has previously been funded by the Caerphilly County Borough Council Education Program and is now funded by the Substance Misuse Action Team.

‘Wings to Fly’ has achieved huge success as part of Gwent Police Schools Education Programme, and has been taken up by other authorities and police forces across Wales.

Caerphilly Partnership Sergeant Rob Davies said: “This is a hard-hitting play for children on the cusp of moving to secondary school. It warns of the tragedy that can occur when substances are misused and it provides children with the ability to make informed choices and do the right thing when and if drugs become an issue in their lives.”

‘Wings To Fly’ is performed by young people for young people. It is staged by a cast from Caerphilly Youth Theatre and directed by Rebecca Millett. In recent years the play has been translated and Welsh-medium performances are performed by Drama Students of Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni.

Caerphilly County Youth meets on Mondays at Blackwood Miners’ Institute from 6pm to 8pm. A new branch was set up in January at Bedwas Workmens’ Institute meeting on Wednesdays from 6pm to 8pm.

The County Youth Theatre aims to make theatre more accessible for young people and is open to anyone aged 14 to 19 who is interested in theatre.

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