We're asking young people across North Tyneside about their thoughts and experiences about drug use and abuse.

Artwork by artist Tommy Anderson & young people from North Tyneside

Funded by North Tyneside Council, we are using a mixed participatory arts approach, with a community research lens, to gather young people’s insights into drugs and alcohol.

Diverse artists and producers, with lived experience, are connecting and collaborating with young people to:

  • Examine drug misuse by young people in North Tyneside.
  • Look at not only the reasons why young people may choose to misuse these substances, but the results and interventions that may follow this.
  • Explore the messages that they might be receptive to (or not).
  • Draw out and understand access to drugs (pipeline) and to treatment services.

We have worked with youth organisations, schools, the local police and intervention agencies across North Tyneside.

#Never? digs deep into the reasons young people drink alcohol and take drugs by exploring solutions that may support a reduction in these activities.

The project encourages young people to understand the risks and impact drugs and alcohol misuse has on school attendance as well as getting under the skin of everyday challenges and issues which can contribute to the limited use of substances.

It seeks to better understand what young people see as opportunities which would promote their physical and mental wellbeing.

This work, especially the public and legacy outcomes, will hopefully contribute to young people achieving better physical and mental health by identifying difficulties and exposing everyday and ongoing support needs as well as exploring the role of support from healthcare and other care professionals in young people’s lives.

Immersive Experience

From Tuesday 30 April – Friday 3 May, we invited local schools, youth organisations, professionals and stakeholders to experience #Never.

Throughout the immersive experience, attendees experienced music, spoken word, graphic art and animation which has been created in response to what the young people shared to showcase messages around substance abuse.

This experience aimed to influence drugs strategy and support for young people. The aim of this experience was to positively inform the young people of North Tyneside against drug use, educate them on the risks and amplify the voices of the young people affected most by this issue to policy makers.

Collage image reading "Say No to Cali"

A range of artwork was created by young people and artists as part of the #Never project. Take a look at some of it below.


Summer 2023 Workshops

Young people from Barnardos took part in an animation workshop with artist Robin Webb over the summer holidays exploring wellbeing and self-perception and mental health.

With thanks for their participation:

  • Barnardo’s 128 The Base
  • Foundation Futures
  • Phoenix Detached Youth Project
  • Silverdale School
  • Churchill Community College
  • Longbenton Employability Group
  • George Stephenson High School

Do you need extra support?

We know that this topic isn’t always easy and can be triggering. If you are need of support or know someone who needs signposting, help is available.

Collage image saying Stay positive

Thank you to our funders.

With thanks to funding and support from Public Health at North Tyneside Council.