Powerful new animation film launches Worthing drug safety awareness project Billy & Beyond CIC

​​A powerful new animation film with a hard-hitting drug awareness message has officially launched the new Billy & Beyond CIC in Worthing.
Billy & Beyond CIC was officially launched in The Pavilion Atrium on Thursday, June 29, 2023Billy & Beyond CIC was officially launched in The Pavilion Atrium on Thursday, June 29, 2023
Billy & Beyond CIC was officially launched in The Pavilion Atrium on Thursday, June 29, 2023

Founded in August 2021 by mum Nicci Parish, whose son Billy died in November 2020 after taking MDMA to celebrate his 24th birthday in lockdown, the community interest company worked with Morgan Films to produce the animation.

Nicci said: "Billy's story is why Billy & Beyond exists, our aim is to increase drug safety awareness in young people and help parents to have those conversations with their young people that are often considered difficult and taboo. We strive to support and enhance children and young people's mental wellbeing and look to support individuals and families thrive."

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The CIC was officially launched in The Pavilion Atrium on Thursday and supporters watched the first public showing of Billy's story, bringing tears to many people's eyes.

The informal evening allowed people to hear about some of the fantastic work Billy & Beyond has been doing already, including workshops in schools and online support for parents.

Nicci said: "I will never forget that phone call. He was lying in a pool of his own blood. I was only able to hold his hand, as the blood had stopped clotting. He had taken that drug recreationally before. He wasn't addicted to drugs. It was just tragic.

"We try to get things in a theme that portrays Billy. Our first fundraising was a pub crawl. Billy was a fun loving carer for adults with learning difficulties, an aspiring model and photograher. I wanted to set up Billy and Beyond to do something positive in Billy’s memory."

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More than £10,000 was raised in the first year and the project started with a pop-up stall at local events. Linking up with the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation has enabled the CIC to run drug education workshops for year-six pupils at various school.

Nicci said: "We are so lucky to be able to fund these for our local schools. More of our students get to see this important work. We have done nine so far. We have also run online parents workshops. It can open up the really difficult conversations."

Nicci said Billy was loved by everybody who knew him. He was taken to King's College Hospital in London and doctors battled for three days but on the morning of November 12, Billy suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.

She added: "We have a burning desire to make sure no other family has to go through what we have benn through. I had no knowledge of recreational drugs and while I was in the hospital, I had to Google MDMA. Parents need to have more information. It really could be anyone's child."

Find Billy and Beyond on Facebook, where you can see the film, or visit billyandbeyond.co.uk