Posted: 15 June 2011

Essex Young People's Drug and Alcohol Service launch

Kate Richardson, Marketing Manager:

Last month, over 200 guests gathered in the impressive Pavillion at Boreham House for the launch of a new website and new brand communications from The Children’s Society’s Essex Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service (EYPDAS). In attendance were the High Sheriff, the Mayor and Mayoress and commissioners of local children’s services.

Creative challenges

Unexpectedly, an opportunity arose for me and Anne-Marie Charsley, Information Officer at EYPDAS, to speak. So, we described the process, starting with the complex and challenging brief to create a visual concept around young people involved with drugs and alcohol. We wanted to avoid potential pitfalls, such as portraying the young people as victims, stereotypes or appearing to judge.  Working with professional copywriters and designers, we considered various concepts and sought feedback from professionals and young service users, one of whom commented that it was ‘a positive thing to have done’.

The result is a dramatic and contemporary identity that has now been adapted for a variety of communications including the new website,, a hub of useful information and advice for young people.

Working together

This was a great example of collaborative working – bringing together the expertise of The Children’s Society’s marketing team, guided by the insight of the EYPDAS staff and the invaluable contribution of the young people to ensure that these communications portray the issues in a way that is relevant and accessible.

EYPDAS launch crowd'A beam of light'

A service user, Will, described the poster as ‘a beam of light’ for young people involved in drugs and alcohol.

Together, we are very proud of what has been achieved and especially grateful to the young people for their enthusiastic participation. Congratulations to Programme Manager Kerry Clancy-Horner and her amazing team, whose hard work resulted in an impressive and professional event.

Anne-Marie Charsley, Information Officer, EYPDAS:

Arriving at Boreham house at 9am on the day of the launch, I was greeted by a flurry of EYPDAS workers and volunteers setting up the Pavilion for the day's event. Balloons were being blown up, display boards erected and goody bags laid out. 

By 11am, the young people had arrived, including representatives from the Young People’s Substance Misuse Forum, Gym Group, Relapse Group and Plectroomz music group. As delegates arrived and the room began to fill I felt proud to see their interest in all the examples of the young people’s hard work. The two enormous banners we had commissioned were the icing on the cake. I felt a wave of calm and pride in what the team had achieved.

'I felt proud of what the team have acheived'

This calm dissipated when I heard Kate volunteer us to speak to the assembled audience, but with only minutes to go there was no time for nerves. And, once I got started, I relished the opportunity to explain to the delegates how the young people had been engaged in the website and the new materials.

It was also a nice end to a year's work with Kate from the Marketing team. I think the day was a huge success and the young people and the EYPDAS team should feel proud of how much they have achieved. 

If you'd like to find out more about EYPDAS, please visit their new website.

By Kate Richardson - Fundraising and events team

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