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26 September 2012, 06:00
More than 20 Year 11 pupils in Berkshire have been trained on how to give drug, alcohol and sexual health lessons to their younger peers.
Eight schools in Windsor and Maidenhead are taking part in the programme run by the charity Turning Point.
The students have been on a four-day training session to learn about how to be a peer educator, what it involves and how to deliver workshops in their schools.
The secondaries taking part are Altwood, Cox Green, Charters, Desborough, Furze Platt, Newlands, Windsor Boys' and Windsor Girls'.
The courses have been delivered by Turning Point over the last three years and are based on feedback from students and teachers.
Over the next few months the students taking part will run lessons for Years 8s and 9s in the hope that they message about the dangers of drinking and taking drugs will have more on an impact that when the information comes from an adult.
Theresa Allen, Turning Point project worker, said: "It is often easier for a teenager to speak to an older student than a teacher or other adult, therefore the programme educates older students with the information they need to act as peer mentors to support younger people to make healthier choices.
"This provides young people with an opportunity to see that not everyone does drugs and there are alternative lifestyles to lead."