For those aged 11-16, events held across Hampshire and known as Say No And Phone (SNAP) discos are one of the highlights of the social calendar.
In Fareham, the events are run five times a year and organised by the Fareham Community Safety Partnership which includes the council, local police and fire service. The Friday evening events regularly attract crowds of 500 young people at Ferneham Hall.
Councillor Trevor Cartwright, chairman of the Fareham Community Safety Partnership, said: ‘SNAP has been running for a long, long time but we as a partnership, and me as chair, believe it is still an excellent way of engaging young people and letting them know that it is easy to have fun without drugs and alcohol.
‘I’m pleased that SNAP is as successful as it is and hope it continues for many years.’
SNAP was created by charity Crimestoppers in October 1995 to encourage young people to reject drugs and alcohol.
Fareham Community Safety Partnership has taken on the running of SNAP discos to provide activities to divert young people from drugs.
Graze Fitzgerald, who used to go to SNAP, said: ‘SNAP gave me a chance to meet people in a safe space. I made new friends and got to hang out with old ones and my mum could let me go out without worrying because she knew I was safe.’
The Community Safety Partnership is looking for adults with no criminal record, preferably with experience of working with children, to volunteer and allow these events to continue.
The partnership says volunteers are vital to the continued success of SNAP events, as they provide support on the night to ensure youngsters are safe. Volunteers will assist trained security staff in co-oordinating safe entry to the venue, supervising the event through the evening and ensuring young people leave the event safely.
To find out more about volunteering go to bitly.com/farehamsnap.
The next event will be on February 12 from 7pm to 10pm at Ferneham Hall. Tickets are £6 at snapdc.co.uk/tickets and at Ferneham Hall.