Five Lives

Five Lives workshops

Who we are

We are a team of people with lived experience of drugs, alcohol or self harm. We feel passionately that when it comes to learning about the negative impact of drugs, alcohol and self-harm, there is nothing as powerful as hearing raw and real stories from people who have been through it.

What we can deliver

We deliver hard hitting workshops on drugs, alcohol and self-harm to secondary schools and other organisations working with young people. These workshops are all based around our own stories and our own life experiences. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience to impart. We also tackle the myths that surround self-harm and addiction, increasing students’ understanding and helping them to make wise decisions. Putting real life experiences at the heart of what we deliver, combined with the uniqueness of each and every workshop, creates a bespoke life-lesson like no other.


“The facilitators from Five Lives have been through it, accessed support and are well in to their recovery. This combination makes for a captivating, heartfelt and practical session that has inspired genuine interest from a wide range of students and staff.”

Jake Cole, Emotional Health & Wellbeing Advisor, Exeter College

clyst-vale-144x170“This is one of the best things we do. We believe in educating the whole person. Nothing does that better than the compelling testimony of other human beings.”

Allen Bailey, Associate Principal, Clyst Vale Community College

sidmouth-144x111“These workshops are an incredible way to affect change in the next generation.”

Lisa Whitworth, Assistant Vice Principal, Sidmouth College

clyst-vale-144x170“Having Five Lives visit Clyst Vale was an invaluable experience for our students. Listening to real people talk about real stories really helped students think outside the box about substance misuse, alcohol and self-harm. I would highly recommend.”

Helene Chandler, Subject Lead in Health and Social Care, Clyst Vale Community College

logo_kings-144x170“Living in the 21st Century requires you to teach students about the real world and the Five Lives project is challenging, moving and a fantastic educational resource. Our students still refer to the workshops and visitors months after the visit. A truly memorable experience.”

Jo Elliott, Head of PSHE, The King’s School

clyst-vale-144x170“This is the first time that I have been involved in something as dynamic as this and would highly recommend it. I learnt a great deal from the speakers and it will be something that will stick with me for a very long time. A very thought provoking and brilliant exercise.”

Lela Rogers, Skills Room Manager, Clyst Vale Community College

logo_isca-144x250“I think what you are doing is truly vital and if you manage to keep even one child from making the wrong decision and hurting themselves, then what a fantastic job you will have done. It was lovely to meet you all and I hope that the students’ performance helped everyone remember how vulnerable their younger selves were and how important the Five Lives project is for the future generation.”

Karen Lambert, Head of Drama, Isca Academy

blank-logo“You really are looking for the positive in impossibly difficult and upsetting former circumstances, and to use this to make a difference to the lives of young people is truly inspirational and immensely courageous.”

Helen Platten, Service Support Assistant, Devon Young People’s Accommodation Service

“I can honestly say that the response from the students and the supervising teachers has been the most positive response I have ever had regarding a PSHE session. Thank you so much for providing this excellent service to schools.”

Amelia Robinson, Head of Student Personal Learning, Colyton Grammar School

clyst-vale-144x170“”There is no better way of educating children than through talking to people who have lived through the experience they are trying to avoid. This is a real opportunity for students to learn in a really inspiring way. I would recommend Five Lives to any other school.”

Nicola Bennett, C42 Coordinator, Clyst Vale Community College

“Being able to talk directly to eloquent people like John and Ali about the challenges they faced makes the most powerful impact on our students. They will not forget their stories or their bravery.”

Annabel Taylor-Ross, Head of PSHE, Blundell’s School

“I would highly recommend Five Lives to Health and Social Care teachers. It is hard to describe the vast impact this had on our students, but from discussions following the talk, it’s clear to me that they now have more empathy and understanding of how addiction can affect people and their communities. Five Lives has been truly motivational for my students.”

Steffi Morby, Lead Teacher in Health and Social Care, St James School