Written By: Josh Pettitt
Amy Winehouse father believes that his new drug and alcohol education programme could have saved the singer’s life.
Mitch Winehouse is preparing to roll out his scheme to 50 schools across the country after criticising the education system for failing to include lessons on the dangers of drugs and alcohol in the national curriculum.
The former taxi driver, whose Grammy award-winning daughter died aged 27 in 2011 after battling drink and drugs, said he wished his project had been up and running when the Back To Black singer was still at school.
Mr Winehouse, who set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation, said: “I would have it liked it if this information had been around for me, but I have had to learn the hard way.
“Before Amy passed away I addressed the Commons [home affairs] select committee about the problems.
“Who knows what would have happened if we had had these projects at Amy’s school? I think she would have been very excited about this because she was a very caring young lady.”
The resilience programme was launched at St Clement Dane School in Hertfordshire earlier this year before being tested at three schools in Camden, where Winehouse lived.
Recovering addicts tell pupils, teachers and parents about their experiences. Mr Winehouse said pupils reacted more positively to the volunteers than teachers, nurses or police officers. The programme, with support from Childline, also offers a free, confidential phone and online service for young people, if they don’t feel confident discussing problems in school.
Mayor of Camden, Jonathan Simpson, said: “This scheme is really poignant for everyone in Camden. This year would have been Amy’s 30th birthday and we really want to celebrate her amazing achievements and life as well.”