“To provide innovative, high quality, hard-hitting, effective and socially relevant education and training interventions, that empower participants to widen their understanding and knowledge on the issues at hand and ultimately to reach informed opinions and perspectives on which to base their own personal choice.”
In addition to the praise and endorsements received from individual teachers and schools what people say, ADAD’s work has received the following recognition:
- Been praised on the floor of the House of Commons.
- Been cited as an example of good practice in the Times Educational Supplement (“E is for Agony” – R Klein – TES2).
- Been short-listed for an award for good practice by the Department of Health.
- Been praised by the broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby.
- Been personally endorsed by the then government Anti-Drugs Coordinator, Keith Hellawell.
- Been citied as an example of good practice by the Home Office and Cabinet Office.
ADAD’s work is underpinned by the fundamental working philosophy:
- Education is for life and has to extend beyond the traditional academic and vocational arena. Everyone, regardless of age, should be given the opportunity to continue to learn, to enhance their own social awareness, responsibilities and essential life skills.
- Learning should be interactive and participatory in order to maximise its effectiveness. By engaging and stimulating participants to question, voice opinions and share ideas, the potential for experiential learning is maximised.
- Through the use of theatre and drama techniques ADAD seeks to raise awareness, inform, encourage and facilitate interactive debate on issues of social relevance.
- An understanding of the full facts surrounding any particular issue will greatly assist people in making their own informed choices.
- Choices based on education, self-discovery and personal empowerment will have a far greater impact on behaviour than didactic rhetoric, instruction and prohibition.
- To judge people is not to empower them. It is vital to create a ‘safe’ working environment where individuals feel they can be open and honest, and be able to freely express and share their thoughts and ideas.
- When working with young people, it is preferable to intervene early, to challenge attitudes and behaviour, before they emerge as anti-social, criminal, dangerous or unhealthy, rather than to deal with the consequences, once they have.
- It is essential to recognise that, for many, decisions are often influenced or ‘clouded’ by many factors. These could be viewed as ‘external’, derived from people or sources beyond the individual, or ‘internal’, resulting from a desire for acceptance, belonging or respect. The challenges to implementing true and free personal choice, cannot be underestimated.
- Access to ADAD’s services cannot be inhibited on the grounds of gender, race, religion, ability or socio-economic circumstances.