The Talk About Trust

Community Hero in the Spotlight, July 2024

The Talk About Trust, based in Poundbury, Dorchester, was founded 15 years ago to support young people aged 11- 25 to make safer choices around alcohol and other substances. Their specialist staff train teachers and youth professionals to deliver alcohol, cannabis, vaping awareness and life skills resilience to young people. They also hold assemblies and workshops for young people in sports and youth clubs, pupil referral units and special needs settings.

Listen to Helena from Talk About Trust, with Hannah our Engagement Lead,  on Hope FM

The charity specialises in providing online games and resources for young people to learn about the risks of substance abuse in a fun way. Following a face-to-face training session, an Iford school teacher (pictured) said it was “Very sensitive delivery of training material that made an impact.”

The Chatterboxes (a youth group run by and for young people with special educational needs) had a session with Talk About Trust and said “It was so wonderful to see all the young people so engaged with your presentation. Thank you so much.”

Talk About Trust also provides information and talks (online and face-to-face) for parents and carers. One Dorset Council Foster Carer said, “I feel confident in my new knowledge and the resources supplied during the session to talk to young people about alcohol and get them thinking about the choices they make.”

As well as leading assemblies in schools and workshops with youth groups, they work with statutory services such as the Police, Councils and Health Care professionals.

“I now have a better understanding of how to discuss the subject of alcohol with young people.” Dorset Council Children’s Services Employee

Helena Conibear, Founder and CEO of The Talk About Trust says ‘Motivations for drinking alcohol and other risk-taking have changed markedly over the last decade, early drinking or experimenting with cannabis and smoking used to be linked more to boundary-pushing and ‘being cool’ – now we are seeing those with the lowest self-esteem turning to alcohol, vaping and cannabis to help them cope and deal with anxiety. This is very worrying – some 12,000 young people sought help for substance use last year, 88% for cannabis (led by young men) followed by 46% for alcohol. The biggest predictor for needing help was early onset of use – so our work in intervening early before use, to ensure young people have the knowledge, skills and resilience to make safer more informed choices is so important.’

Karen Perryman, who delivers The Talk About Trust training, student workshops and outreach with Helena Conibear, is a trained teacher with many years of experience in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and drug and alcohol education. Both work tirelessly to improve outcomes for young people imaginatively and engagingly.

Pavilion in the Park, where Talk About Trust have its office, hosts a wide range of weekly, monthly and annual events for the community of Poundbury.

There are weekly meetings for:

  • Home Educators
  • NHS midwife
  • Dorset Deaf Activities group
  • Poundbury chess club
  • Park Run
  • Junior Park Run and mini athletics.

Afterschool Art Club runs every two weeks, and the second Thursday of each month is the day of the Senior’s Social. It’s a place to meet friends or colleagues, enjoy family gatherings, hold business and charity meetings and is recognised for being a calm area for children’s clubs, events and for the community to use. Pavilion in the Park’s (PIPs) outreach would not be possible without their trusty Club Leaders and committed volunteers who have limitless energy and passion for helping their community.

Get in touch or visit Read more about their work.