Testimonials

The Loop works with a number of professional partners and has a presence at clubs and festivals throughout the UK. Below are some testimonials from our professional partners, as well as friends and relatives of people who have used our services.


 

B Traits | Radio 1 DJ & Patron of The Loop

Brianna feels honoured to represent the Loop as a patron. She utilizes her influential position to full effect by tackling pressing issues like the need for widely accessible drug safety information, as well as fighting passionately for a rich and progressive club scene in the UK. She has collaborated with Professor Fiona Measham and The Loop on various projects including her BBC 3 documentary ‘How Safe Are My Drugs?’ and has participated in a number of conferences and discussions across the UK and overseas. Brianna has supported front of house MAST testing from the beginning, and believes that testing opens the dialogue, promotes harm reduction, and saves lives. 


Jon Drape | Managing Director, Ground Control & Patron of The Loop

This year Kendal Calling were delighted to be one of the first festivals to offer The Loop’s ground-breaking Multi Agency Safety Testing (MAST) on site in July 2016.

As festival organisers, we work very closely with our colleagues in the Police Force to do everything we can to prevent controlled substances being brought on to site, and to actively pursue those suspected of drug dealing.  Despite these stringent measures, we have to accept that there will be some substances in circulation and we have a duty of care to minimise the risk to festival-goers.

The MAST testing service offered by The Loop allowed our customers to come and test substances of concern and then undertake a harm reduction session with a trained drug worker.  Following the session, we found that 1 in 5 customers then chose to amnesty remaining substances that they had on them.

Having the pop-up lab on site also meant we were able to continually test and identify substances confiscated during seizures and deposited into amnesty bins as well as samples given to medics.  Working closely with the Police and Professor Measham we could, when necessary, put out harm reduction messaging via our digital channels.

We feel that MAST is a radical but absolutely necessary festival provision.  It has been one of the most effective new harm reduction measures we have been able to put in place at Kendal Calling.   Quite simply, there is no other Welfare Provider offering this kind of service that safeguards and protects our customers in such a unique and forward-thinking way.

Jon is also Events Director, Kendal Calling, Parklife, Festival No.6, Blue Dot, Snowbombing and many more...


Sacha Lord-Marchionne | Director, The Warehouse Project

The Warehouse Project has worked closely with The Loop since it first started and has supported its growth from a fledgling Manchester-based volunteer service to the national NGO that it has expanded into.

On the opening night of The Warehouse Project season, 27th September 2013, sadly, Nick Bonnie died from a drugs overdose. On a personal level, this is something that will never leave me. There isn’t a day that goes by without me thinking about the tragedy or his family. What could we have done to avoid the tragedy, is a question that I ask myself time and time again. The actual answer, is nothing. We were already going above and beyond what we were expected to do. We run one of the most stringent policies in the country.

I was very much aware of Professor Fiona Measham prior to the tragedy. In fact, we had already scheduled Fiona Measham to work alongside the Home Office at some WHP events in order to test confiscated drugs. Literally from the tragedy, to the end of the series of 2013 events, The Loop and Fiona Measham helped us to educate our crowd. The Loop attended each and every event. Our customer feedback from the presence of The Loop was incredible.

Since that night in September 2013, The Loop has delivered a welfare and harm reduction service at every Warehouse Project event, and at the Parklife Weekender since the summer of 2013. Each autumn at the start of the new WHP autumn season, our staff receive updated drugs awareness training from The Loop’s professional trainers. Over the years The Loop’s team has grown not only in size but in enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication to the welfare of our customers.

Furthermore, together with the support of Greater Manchester Police, the Loop has pioneering a unique forensic testing service at the Warehouse Project and at Parklife since 2013 to help inform emergency services on-site and reduce drug-related incidents. We are proud to say that the Warehouse Project was the first (and to date is still the only) nightclub in the UK that conducts forensic testing on site for public safety. With Fiona’s understanding of drug markets and my understanding of the clubbing scene, Fiona and I work closely together to respond rapidly to any potentially dangerous drugs in circulation and flag up concerns in periodic social media alerts, such as the misselling of methoxetamine as ketamine and the sale of very high purity ecstasy pills, both of which resulted in hospitalisations. The Warehouse Project and The Loop were also the first organisations in the UK to flag up concerns about the deadly red Superman pills. Data collected at our events then feeds in to the largest and longest running academic study of trends in recreational drug use in the UK by Durham University, to inform and improve customer welfare in the night time economy.

We believe that this partnership has helped to reduce drug-related incidents at our events. We are delighted to see how The Loop has grown and will continue to work closely with them as they expand across the UK and Europe. Moving forward, we will always ask for The Loop’s support, whether it is the WHP, Parklife or elsewhere. In return, we will also support them, nominating them as one of our official chosen charities.


Cameron Leslie | Owner, Fabric

Fabric London have been working in partnership with The Loop since 2014. This partnership is important because it helps us understand what is happening and why with regards to recreational drugs which enables us to devise an appropriate and fluid strategy for our club.

The Loop help in providing a balance between law enforcement and the welfare aspect by giving us an honest, unbiased view of what is happening.

The Loop have shaped the training of our team and provide onsite support, where interact with patrons in such a way as to not judge them. This helps with real education and is vital to harm reduction.

We get information on trends and problems far quicker through an organisation that has its finger on the pulse of these issues. It is far better and more reliable than relying on press/media and/or local/government authorities.

Professor Fiona Measham in particular has been a highly supportive and hugely knowledgeable guide for us in mapping out the safest possible environment for our customers. Without doubt, our partnership with the Loop has helped reduce drug-related incidents at our events.


Laura Hunt | Police Silver Commander, the Secret Garden Party

As the Police Silver Commander for the Secret Garden Party it is my role to tactically deliver the strategy set for me by my Gold Commander. His overarching strategy included the intentions of the police; namely, to safeguard, to work in partnership, to prevent and detect crime.

At my first meeting with Dr Fiona Measham, and, indeed, upon hearing about ‘The Loop’, I saw an opportunity to safeguard; to minimise the risk of harm to festival-goers. At a tactical level, having led the policing operation concerned with the Secret Garden Party for many years, I thought that the range of harm reduction measures already in place was fairly extensive. Certainly, for several years we [the police] have drug-tested on site and provided information as to what has been seized or found so as to reduce harm.

However, ‘The Loop’ goes further!! Using the same drug-testing equipment as that used by Cambridgeshire Constabulary, individuals can learn from professionals the exact nature of the substance that they have provided for testing. It is real front-of-house stuff, and, as evidenced by the figures, many individuals, once they had heard from the drug workers, indicated their intention to dispose of their remaining substances.

Like the Gold Commander for the Kendal Festival I will work with my police colleagues and others to do everything that I can to prevent controlled drugs coming onto the site; to detect and prosecute those intent on supplying.

That stated, and, indeed, despite large numbers of confiscations, seizures and finds, it is reasonable to suppose that some substances will get on site. ‘The Loop’ provides an additional layer of safeguarding and protection.

At the conclusion of this year’s policing event my Gold Commander commented:-

“All my conversations with organisers and partners were very positive!! Work was exceptionally innovative around safeguarding and harm reduction. The approach taken around drugs and ‘The Loop’ has attracted significant positive media interest. True partnership working centred on pragmatism and harm reduction”.


Justin Bibby | Superintendent, North Cumbria Police. Kendal Calling Gold Command

In my view front of house testing adds an additional safeguarding layer to the overall approach to drugs and is an important aspect of my Gold Strategy to minimise the risk of harm to festival goers.

 

My intention as the police Gold Commander is to do everything I can to prevent controlled substances coming onto a site and work with the festival organisers to detect and prosecute those intent on supplying, and confiscate all that we find. That said, it is reasonable to assume that we will not be able to prevent all substances getting through and therefore the front of house approach affords a further layer of protection to try and minimise the risk to those intent on using.

 

I had the pleasure of visiting The Loop at Kendal Calling and I was very impressed by both their professionalism, and the holistic approach taken by the team to reduce the harm caused by controlled drugs. I am very much looking forward to working with The Loop again.


Luke Laws | General Manager, Fabric

The Loop have been invaluable for us to develop our welfare team at fabric. Their knowledge and expertise are second to none and are always happy to help us. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending The Loop to anyone wanting to provide welfare in their organisation.


Steve Moore | Director, Volteface

The Loop is a properly pioneering project. It is not just worthy but vital. It might just save lives. Volteface proudly support the work of Fiona Measham and The Loop.


Becca Frankland | Clubs & Dance Music Editor, Skiddle

We've been helping people fill dancefloors for 16 years, so we feel it's equally, probably more so, important to make sure that the people who populate them are looked after. As such we're massive champions of what the Loop do, firmly believing that their pioneering work is shaking rigid and out of date attitudes towards young people and how they party.


Prun Bijral | Medical Director, Change Grow Live

I observed The Loop in action at The Warehouse Project in Manchester. It was a fascinating experience and I was particularly intrigued by the level of technical detail involved with this method of substance testing. Clearly The Loop is well established at The Warehouse Project as an integral harm reduction service as well as providing a known safe environment for clubbers.

In a clubbing environment where we know that some level of substance use is inevitable, it’s critical that we ensure people are using substances in the safest way possible. The Loop, in partnership with the WHP, is doing as much as it can to support people to make informed and safer decisions. During my visit I was able to see the team test substances brought by the medical team, and within minutes inform them of drug class, and purity, to facilitate the care of individuals who may have required support. It’s a truly ground breaking approach, and under the leadership of Professor Measham I can see how this could become an integral and essential service in festivals and clubs alike


Visitor to The Loop at Parklife 2017

Me and a friend came to The Loop tent on Sunday because she had her first ecstasy tablet and started to get a bit panicky and paranoid. There was a woman with a plait and flowers in her hair - I can''t remember her name but she was really good. She was completely non-judgemental and reminded me of a mum or mother figure as she was so so comforting! I think it's really good what The Loop do and hope that I see these tents set up at more festivals throughout the year - because of this woman and the atmosphere in the tent my friend was able to calm down and we could go back out and see Carl Cox!!!!


Mother of Warehouse Project customer

Two weeks ago I had a phone call at 3am from a drugs worker at WHP. My 20 year old daughter and one of her friends had taken MDMA and possibly another hallucinogen, 2CB, and were seriously disturbed. So I picked them up, nice middle class kids both. Probably with some experience of this kind of drug but not enough. Off their heads, randomly striking out at ambulance staff and others, shouting, yelling, wrestling, carried into the car and then into the house- we only got them home with the help of the WHP security staff who were exemplary in their patience and tolerance. If no-one had picked them up they would undoubtedly been arrested (perhaps should have been arrested) and/or hospitalised. If they’d wandered away from whp they could easily have ended up under a bus. After an hour or so of screaming, throwing furniture, striking out they flattened out and started to come to some realisation of what had happened, and how fortunate they had been to come to no harm… (Goes on to say) … Be grateful for those drug worker volunteers and security staff on a low hourly rate who might just scrape you up and save your life.


Jon Liebling | Political Director, United Patients Alliance

United Patients Alliance are delighted to give our support to The Loop and their MAST Drug Testing and welfare initiatives. Their harm reduction work is both ground breaking and essential in protecting the lives and heath of young people enjoying clubs and festivals in the UK.  The unregulated  drugs market is a major issue for cannabis consumers too and we look forward to working with and learning from The Loop so we can better protect and inform our supporters and promote safer consumption. Fantastic work.

 

Nick Clegg | Former Deputy Prime Minister & former Leader of the Liberal Democrats. Member of Global Commission on Drug Policy

People who take drugs have no idea who has made them, how potent they are, or what impurities they contain. Regardless of your views on the legal status of drugs, we need to do more to protect people from harm. That’s why the work of The Loop is so important. It will literally save lives.


Paul Bunt | Boomtown Crime &  Drug Manager 

As the Crime and Drug Manager for the Boomtown Festival in 2017 I was keen to maximise our efforts to reduce the harm caused by illegal drugs at the festival and developed a strategy which sought to reduce the supply and demand for illegal drugs as well as reduce the harms they caused.

A key part of this strategy was the use of Multi Agency Safety Testing (MAST) delivered by The Loop charity. My view was that this pioneering new service could add significantly to Boomtowns efforts to educate festival goers about the use of illegal drugs and therefore potentially reduce the harms caused by those drugs.  I was also aware that Boomtown would be the largest festival that the MAST service had been delivered to so was keen to ensure that the service delivered as promised and was professional in its approach.

The Loop delivered their MAST service over 3 days at the festival having more than 1100 drug samples handed in for analysis and delivering fifteen minute interventions to over 2,000 people hose handing the drugs in for analysis.  The importance of this real time analysis came to the fore when a particularly dangerous substance was identified which enabled both the Loop and Boomtown to publish harm reduction alerts to all those at the festival which I truly believe was responsible for keeping those negatively impacted by the drug so low in number.

The Loop were very professional in their approach at the festival with the actual set up of the laboratory and area for delivering the interventions particularly impressive.  The Loop's management team on site were easy to work with and were very respectful to the established processes of the festival and ensured analytical data from that days testing was delivered in time for the daily Festival Management meetings.

Having been a Police Officer for 33 years and a recently retired Police Drugs Lead i was very pleased to see that the Loop understood and fully complied with the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act which added to our confidence about the service provision.

The most telling impression of the MAST service at the festival came from both the Medical and Welfare providers on site who reported a significant reduction in serious drug related incidents and attributed this in no small way to the impact of MAST on site.

Overall I found the MAST service delivered by The Loop to be professional and very effective in helping to achieve our objective to reduce drug harms at the festival.  I would thoroughly recommend this  service to other festivals and hope they return to Boomtown next year.


The Royal Society for Public Health

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) supports the deployment of Multi Agency Safety Testing (MAST) at festivals and in the nighttime economy, as a common sense harm reduction intervention that has the capacity to both reduce the quantity of potentially harmful drugs in circulation in such settings and reduce the probability of serious or lethal harm occurring as a result of their use. RSPH supports The Loop as the leading and trusted best-practice organisation delivering this intervention in a safe and responsible manner in the UK.


Greater Manchester Police


GMP have built up a successful partnership with The Loop at Parklife over a numbers of years. Harm reduction and public safety is our primary aim and The Loop have played a key role in providing analysis and insight into the drugs markets on site. It is not hyperbole to say that the work of The Loop helps save lives.


Chief Inspector Gary Simpson | Police Silver Commander, Parklife Festival 2014

Greater Manchester Police worked alongside the Loop Charity for the first time at this year’s Parklife Weekender Music Festival to reduce the danger of drug use at the festival.  The event organisers, The Loop Charity and Greater Manchester Police worked in partnership to develop an approach which included fast time testing of seized drugs at the event site.

Professor of Fiona Measham and her team from The Loop Charity were fantastic; they offered advice at the planning stages through to setting up their mobile laboratory and testing on the festival site. The Loop team identified substances of concern that we believed might be in circulation at the event we then public safety messages to festival goers through the event organisers and their social media to warn of the dangers.

Often the Police can solely focus on detection of drug offences and capturing offenders,  whilst that is  important it I also essential to include a prevention and public health element to you plans, the loop Charity were instrumental in providing this element to overall public safety plan.

As Police Commander for such events I am always interested in new ideas that can reduce the risk to the public, after all, we are all here to ultimately protect the public.  I look forward to working with Fiona and her team at future festivals.


Professor David Nutt | Founder, DrugScience

Fiona has been a founding member of DrugScience since 2010 and I have followed the development of the Loop with great interest. The Loop effectively combines Fiona's academic research and policy development with the evidence-based delivery of drug and alcohol services on the ground, all with a humane and harm reduction ethos. DrugScience fully supports the Loop's work and we have various members actively involved in the Loop's service delivery.  We are particularly delighted to see the successful introduction of forensic testing services on site to drug users at festivals and other events, as this is a successful and well established harm reduction measure in several European countries.  We feel this can only be a positive development in the UK at a time when we are experiencing an alarming increase in drug-related deaths across the board.


Kim Blauenfeldt Gosmer | Project Manager, Danish drug consumption room (DCR) Skyen

In February 2017, the Danish drug consumption room (DCR) Skyen, located in central Copenhagen, launched a 12 months drug testing project. The primary drugs used in the DCR is cocaine (approx. 80%) and heroin (approx. 20%) and the purity of these drugs on a national basis (based on public figures from police seizures) are quite low, 37% and 19% (2015), respectively. One of the primary aims of the project is to get an insight in the composition of these drugs on street level to increase safety for the users and to support the staff working in the DCR.

Before the project was launched, we were lucky to have the possibility to meet with Fiona from The Loop to discuss their strategies, protocols and experiences with festival and night club drug testing. The meeting and subsequent mail correspondences have been a major support during the planning and startup of our project. For instance, we ended up acquiring the same FTIR-equipment The Loop is working with based on Fiona’s recommendation and our drug testing protocol was also written with inspiration from Fiona and her team. Basically, we are happy that we didn’t have to re-invent the wheel and Fiona has truly helped our project to a running start.


Pete Morris | Manchester Medical Services

I first started working alongside The Loop during the 2013 season of The Warehouse Project. As part of the event medical provision, I regularly have to treat patients who are under the influence of recreational drugs, both legal and illegal, some of which are life-threatening. Having staff from The Loop on hand has proved to be invaluable, not just due to their extensive knowledge of the recreational drug scene, but also because of their calm and collected approach to welfare. We have been able to make use of volunteers from The Loop to build trust with patients who might be nervous of talking to uniformed ambulance personnel. Because of their non-judgemental approach and focus on harm reduction, some of my patients who have refused to tell me what has been taken have subsequently told volunteers from The Loop, thus allowing me to provide the necessary medical treatments.

I have been impressed by the commitment of the staff at The Loop to their mission, and how they have been so reliable not only in terms of their knowledge and experience, but also in their approach to the practical consistencies of staffing events with their volunteers. I have come to rely on individuals such as Chris, Gemma and Fiona as one of my first ports of call of advice and recommendations on how best to plan for patients under the influence of recreational drugs. This was key in the preparation for The Parklife Weekender 2013, where I met with The Loop on several occasions to help plan the medical provision for the event. Having their knowledge allows me to ensure we have the right plans in place for each event being covered, and The Loop provided us with vital and up to the minute information about treatment for common recreational drugs in advance of the event.


The involvement of The Loop has directly led to better patient care at both The Warehouse Project and The Parklife Weekender, and the relationship between medical staff and volunteers from The Loop has gone from strength to strength. I look forward to working alongside them at future events, and know that their mission is not only invaluable and necessary, but specifically has led to real lives being saved.


Stefanie Jones | Director of the Drug Policy Alliance #SaferPartying campaign

The Loop is the ideal festival and nightclub harm reduction service – it includes top-notch drugs education and outreach as well as forensic testing services that allow people to know exactly what’s in their substances and make safer choices. Truly a model for the rest of the world to follow.”


Niamh Eastwood | Director, Release

The Loop’s forensic testing of drugs is a great example of the evidence-based initiatives around drug use that are increasingly needed in the UK. We at Release believe in harm reduction, and The Loop embodies this principle in its vital work that protects the lives of young people and deals with the realities of an unregulated drugs market.


Transform Drug Policy Foundation

Transform is proud to have been actively supporting and championing the Loop since its formation. The Loop is an organisation that has shown outstanding leadership in pushing forward the historically neglected harm reduction agenda in the night-time economy. Their remarkable achievements reflect not only their status as preeminent experts in the field but also a steely determination to deliver meaningful change in often politically challenging environments. Most of all the Loop is driven by an overriding passion for the cause and a desire to end the needless tragedies of the past; to keep people safe and save lives. 


Anne Marie Cockburn | Anyone's Child

A mother’s response to the #Crush DabWait campaign:

When I found out about the new #CrushDabWait campaign launched last week I felt relieved that common sense was finally prevailing. My only wish is that this campaign had existed 23 months ago before I lost my only child to an accidental ecstasy overdose. My 15 year old daughter Martha pounded down MDMA crystal to a powder that turned out to be 91% pure, she swallowed half a gram in one go and died 3 hours later.

The #CrushDabWait campaign was launched by The Loop drugs charity just ahead of Glastonbury to encourage users to think carefully about how much MDMA crystal they consume. I was delighted that it was supported by Radio 1 DJ B.Traits and drum and bass DJ Nicky Blackmarket, as well as being featured in Mixmag. This campaign fills me with hope that lives will be saved and other families won’t have to suffer a loss like mine.

The experts behind this campaign are keen to stress that they’re not trying to condone or encourage use, but due to the very high purity of MDMA crystal currently in circulation in the UK (on average 83%), this campaign is focussing solely on MDMA crystal rather than any other forms of ecstasy in order to put out necessary, informative and responsible public health information. This is an evidence-based response, based on research by The Loop’s Fiona Measham, showing that not only is MDMA crystal the most popular drug taken at UK festivals and EDM dance clubs, it’s also virtually pure and is causing serious medical problems for young people taking too much.

There will be those that say it is irresponsible and will encourage drug use – but I believe that the #CrushDabWait campaign could have saved Martha’s life had she known about it. Martha wanted to get high, she didn’t want to die – no parent wants either, but there’s one of those that’s preferable to the other.


Amanda Fielding | Director, The Beckley Foundation

The Loop plays an invaluable role in keeping people safe by helping them to inform themselves about what it is they are consuming. It is a right that should be afforded to everyone, and the The Loop is leading the way with evidence-based harm reduction.


The Loop's very first customer to use MAST at Kendal Calling, 2016

I have always understood that there are dangers of Drug use. Having services like the loop available help to minimise these dangers by giving factual information about the substances that I going to be taking. I first saw the loop on social media andwas the first user of there front of house testing service at Kendal calling 2016. The service offered was brilliant from friendly, professional and knowledgable volunteers. In roughly 30 minutes I received accurate information about what my substance was as well as having the opportunity to ask any drug related questions.