Question Time in Portadown


Sherene from Start360's Southern Connections team had the privilege to sit on the recent ‘Question Time’ event, organised by the students of Portadown College.  Over 800 students were involved in what was a fantastic event.  As part of their Personal Development (PD) Programme, the Year Head Team worked with members of the school council to arrange a Question Time themed event focusing on drugs and alcohol education. 

Students had an opportunity to formulate questions for the panel in their PD classes before attending the event. These questions were then forwarded to the panel beforehand.  Many students asked questions in relation to the risks surrounding drug and alcohol misuse and their effects on the health and well-being of the individuals, while others asked questions around the law, addiction and what support services are available in their area, and how to access those services. 

Having worked in partnership with some of the panel for the last several years, we were able to provide factual, up-to date information and address any concerns that the students had.  Mr Peter Richardson from Portadown College stated ‘This was an informative event which enabled students to get the questions they had surrounding drug related issues addressed by representatives from the relevant agencies’. 

This event was organised as a follow up from the Mental Health and Wellbeing Fayre, which took place on Wednesday 25 October at the Craigavon Civic Centre, involving a range of workshops that students from many schools across the region had the opportunity to attend, including a drug and alcohol workshop.  All pupils that attended this were expected to take on a leadership role when they returned to school to organise an event in relation to one of the topics covered throughout the day. 

Sherene says, 'I found the Question Time event extremely interesting and beneficial for my own development in relation to the issues and concerns that young people are facing in their day to lives, and what they would like to see for the future. Every day’s a school day!!'  

The panel consisted of:

Mrs Sherene Livingstone – SDACT Connection Service

Mr Darryn Causby - YMCA Portadown

Constable Sarah Murray – PSNI

Mr Niall Herron – Dunlewey Addiction Service

Mr Peter Richardson – Portadown College