Press release 

14 June 2019 


Bereaved Families walk to parliament to tell MPs: “The Drug War killed our kids. Save lives, end it now.” 


On June 20th bereaved families from across the UK will start a 6 day walk to parliament to raise awareness about the harms of current drug policy and to demand the legal control and regulation of the drugs trade.


The walk will culminate on June 25th, when record numbers of bereaved families and activists will descend on parliament to tell their heart-breaking stories and call on MPs to put doctors, pharmacists and licensed vendors in charge of the drugs market in order to save lives.


“I’m walking 55 miles of the Thames Path for my dead sons Jake and Roland. Along the way we want to raise awareness and funding for our campaign. When we reach Parliament we want all MPs to know about Anyone’s Child and the message we bring, so every one of them can’t fail to see that current drug policies cause enormous harm.”  Rose, Anyone’s Child campaigner who lost two sons to drug overdoses.


“I’m walking for my son Jake, so his existence isn’t meaningless, so that 22 years of loving is not wasted, so that minds can be changed and attitudes altered. Please join us for an hour or a day and learn how changing the law could improve life for all of us in the future.” Chris, Anyone’s Child campaigner who lost her son to a drug overdose.


Every week in the UK we lose 70 people in drug-related deaths- 1 in 3 drug-related deaths in the EU happens in the UK. That’s 10 a day, 280 each month, 3 500 every year.


Anne-Marie Cockburn, Anyone’s Child campaigner, who lost her 15 year old daughter Martha to a drug overdose said:

“As I stand by my child’s grave, what more evidence do I need that things must change? I believe that my daughter would still be alive today had she taken something that was legally regulated – as it would be labelled with a list of ingredients and recommended dosage information.” 


This day of action is part of a global initiative, Support. Don’t Punish, which will see thousands of people in over 100 cities, mobilise in support of drug policies based on human rights and public health. Every year on the UN’s International Day Against Drug Trafficking and Abuse, the Support. Don’t Punish campaign mobilises thousands of people to expose the harms of the drug war


Find out more:


Join the families on their walk:


Day 1 – Thursday 20th June 

Cookham to Windsor

Meeting point: Ferry Pub, Cookham, SL6 9SN, 10:00am

The day will finish with an event in Maidenhead ‘Maidenhead: Take Drugs Seriously’ to discuss the failure of our current drug policy and how legal regulation would save lives.


Day 2 – Friday 21st June

Windsor to Staines.

Meeting point: Jubilee fountain, Alexandra Park, Windsor, SL4 1RF at 10:00am


Day 3 – Saturday 22nd June

Staines to Hampton Court

Meeting point: The Swan Hotel, The Hythe, Staines, TW18 3JB at 10am


Day 4 – Sunday 23rd June

Hampton Court to Kew

Meeting point: The Mute Swan, 3 Palace Gate, Hampton Court, KT8 9BN at 10am


Day 5 – Monday 24th June

Kew to Battersea

Meeting point: One Over the Ait, 8 Kew Bridge Road, Brentford, London, TW8 0FJ at 10:00am


Day 6 – Tuesday 25th June

THAMES PATH WALK, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Meet at the Sun Gate of Battersea Park 10.00am  


ACTION ON COLLEGE GREEN (Abingdon Street Gardens, Westminster), 12.30pm – 2.00pm 

Join us for a photo op on College Green at 1pm. There will be speeches from MPs and we will be placing ‘forget-me-not’ flowers into the ground to remember our loved ones. 


THE LOBBY, from 1:30pm – 5:30pm

Room W2 in the Palace of Westminster. 






To speak to family members/ find out more: 

Jane Slater, Manager Anyone’s Child,

+44 (0)117 325 0295 (office) / +44 (0) 7852 272 220


Anyone’s Child: Families for Safer Drug Control is a campaign of Transform Drug Policy Foundation. We are an international network of families whose lives have been wrecked by current drug laws and who are now campaigning to change them.


Notes for editors


2019 Global Day of Action – Support. Don’t Punish campaign 


26 June is the UN’s International Day Against Drug Trafficking and Abuse, when the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) publishes its World Drug Report, and joins global leaders in vowing to continue the fight against drug use and supply  This international drug war – and the UK’s domestic one – is built upon UN treaties which oblige UN member states to prohibit the production and supply of certain drugs for non-medical (ie recreational) use.