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Hard hitting drugs film wins Working in Partnership award.

A hard hitting film that highlights the dangers of taking synthetic drugs such as ‘meow meow’ has won the Working in Partnership award at a ceremony hosted by Gwent Police.

The film enjoyed a high profile premiere at the Market Hall Cinema, Brynmawr, at the start of this year.

‘The Good Drug Dealer’ film is the result of close partnership working between community organisations, instigated by three Tredegar councillors – Haydn Trollope, John Morgan and Diane Rowberry. It was directed by Welsh BAFTA winner Peter Watkins Hughes – who is also a member of the Brynmawr Community Group which took over the running of the town’s cinema last year.

The award ceremony was held on Monday 30 June and Councillor Haydn Trollope attended and said:

“Local young people, who were concerned about their friends, talked to us about the problem initially. We decided to take action as soon as we could to raise awareness through the film. This award is for everyone involved in the successful project. But the group is still focused on spreading the word about the dangers of synthetic drug addiction.

We are delighted that all of the hard work from our community partners was brought together with the production of the film. It is important that children understand the dangers of drugs and that the film makes a real impact in educating children and driving down drug use in our local communities.”

The group involved with the project included a wide range of concerned professionals and partners including Tredegar Community First, Blaenau Gwent Council, Caerphilly Council, Tai Calon Community Housing, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Community Safety Partnerships, Gwent Police and members of the local community.

Darrell Dewar and Tracey Meyrick from the Neighbourhood team at Tai Calon Community Housing also received Working in Partnership certificates for their role in the project.

Jen Barfoot, Chief Executive of Tai Calon, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Darrell and Tracey have been recognised for their outstanding work and commitment to the project. It is due to them that Tai Calon became a sponsor of “The Good Drug Dealer” film and they played an active role in seeing it through to production. The film is a hard hitting drama that tells it as it is. I am pleased we have been able to play our part in raising awareness of the dangers of drugs like meow meow.”

‘Meow meow’ is one of many streets names for the drug Mephedrone - a Class B drug which is illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.

Cllr David Poole, Caerphilly County Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure Services, said:

"This excellent production is playing a key role in helping to educate young people across both Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent county boroughs about the very real dangers and potentially devastating consequences associated with substance abuse. I am delighted that the project has been awarded this prestigious 'Working in Partnership’ accolade - well done to all involved.”

The film stars Gareth David Lloyd (of Torchwood) and Darren Evans (My Big Fat Diary). It is designed for use in PSE lessons in schools, in the first instance, throughout Blaenau Gwent/Caerphilly to highlight the devastating effects of synthetic drug addiction.

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