Rastrick students learn reality of addiction and homelessness

Year 9 student leaders with Chris Sylvester and Natalie Wells of The Howarth Foundation
Year 9 student leaders with Chris Sylvester and Natalie Wells of The Howarth Foundation

Students at Rastrick High School are learning more about the complexities of drug and alcohol addiction as part of a partnership with a West Yorkshire charity helping secure employment for individuals that have experienced addiction and homelessness.

Year 9 student leaders at the school have been working alongside The Howarth Foundation, based in Cleckheaton, to learn more about the experience of former drug addict and rough sleeper, Chris Sylvester.

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Mr Sylvester, who is now two years into his recovery and working as a client coordinator for The Howarth Foundation, spoke to students about his first experience of using heroin as a teenager and how his addiction led to him sleeping on the streets.

Jamie Jenkins, marketing and communications lead at Rastrick High School, said: “Last year, we held a non-uniform day to raise funds for The Howarth Foundation, but this year we really wanted the students to understand exactly where the money was going and find out more about the individuals it was helping.

“Our Year 9 student leaders will now deliver presentations about the work of The Howarth Foundation to the rest of the school ahead of this year’s non-uniform fundraising day on the October 18.”

Year 9 student, Kenny, said: “It was nice to meet Chris and Natalie from the Howarth Foundation and to get to know the charity more. I was really good to see where the money we raise will be going and to understand what impact it has.

“We have a learnt a lot about the issues in our local communities and the support that’s available to people by charities like The Howarth Foundation.”

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