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Kenward Trust works with the families of Kent teens Owen Kinghorn and William Horley on new video as part of its 'Think Differently' campaign

A charity which aims to educate young people about the risks of drug and alcohol misuse has been working with the families of two Kentteenagers who died after taking drugs.

As part of its 'Think Differently' project, The Kenward Trust has this year used the stories of Owen Kinghorn and William Horley in a hard-hitting short film which will be shown in schools and colleges across the county.

Owen's mother tells her story in the film.

The scheme which first started in 2016 helps young people make informed choices when they encounter substances by giving them all the facts they need.

It shares the real life stories of those who have been affected by the devastation misuse can cause.

One family that knows all too well about the wounds that never heal are the Kinghorns who are sharing their experience to help raise awareness.

Owen Kinghorn from Ashford was just 15-years-old when he died after taking a lethal dose of MDMA.

The Towers School pupil's body was found in a field near Great Chart on September 6 last year.

Owen was a football fanatic
Owen was a football fanatic

In the film his mother Rachael Kinghorn describes the moment that changed her world forever.

Mrs Kinghorn said: "He had been back at school a week and he was supposed to be going on a sleepover but for some reason they didn't do that. They decided to pull an all nighter and my son never came home again.

"It wasn't until later on the next day I started to get worried, it was unusual for his phone not to be charged for that amount of time.

"In the end we had to get the police to go out and find him."

His grandfather David Kinghorn continued: "They organised a search party and a police constable came round, got details and went off.

"About an hour and a half later there was a knock on the front door.

"I went to open it and there was the original police officer, plus a female police officer and as soon as I saw her there I knew it was bad news because she was there to comfort Rachael."

Also sharing their heartache is the family of William Horley from Herne Bay.

Kim Webster lost her son, a Canterbury College student, aged just 17 last year, after he took the painkiller Tramadol and fell unconscious, before being rushed to hospital where, tragically, he couldn’t be revived.

Tramadol is a prescription painkiller but is sometimes dangerously used as a recreational drug.

William Horley with his mum, Kim Webster
William Horley with his mum, Kim Webster

William, a 6ft 6in fitness fanatic, had dreams of joining the Army prior to his death.

In a bid to warn others of the dangers, and paint a picture of how difficult her life has been since his death, Mrs Webster has also been telling her story as part of the campaign.

She said: "They think they know what they're taking, they think they're grown up enough to know, and they take it because their friends are doing it.

"You don't want to think about your mum when you're out having fun but it's your mum and dad that will miss you the most.

"You never move on. It's something you wake up to every morning and it's the last thing you think about every night."

William dreamed of being in the army
William dreamed of being in the army

Kenward Trust, a charity based near Maidstone has been providing support to those affected by alcohol and drug addictions for more than 50 years.

Working with the KM, it hopes the video will reach as many young people aged between 11 and 18 in the county as possible.

The film will be accompanied by three lesson plans, power points, handouts and activities designed to start conversations about substances.

It is available for free to schools and colleagues in Kent and funded by Kent-based Colyer-Ferguson Charitable Trust.

Penny Williams, CEO of Kenward Trust says: "We are incredibly passionate about educating young people on the risks associated so that they can create their own informed decisions about taking substances, and hopefully prevent more deaths in the future.”

To find out more about the film and resources contact the trust on 01622 814187 or visit their website www.thinkdifferentlykent.co.uk/resources

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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