Tessa Brunsden of Reading Borough Council has been highly commended in the national Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) Awards for her work tackling underage drinking in the borough.
She was praised for Excellence in Education and received her certificate from Helen Walker, CEO of volunteering charity TimeBank and CAP Board Director, at the Westminster launch of the CAP 2017 Impact Report on October 11.
Helen Walker said: “Tessa is a key member of Reading CAP and is dedicated to reaching out to young people and introducing innovative alcohol education. Her skill lies in getting her students excited about learning, studying in their own time, using their lunches to meet up and encouraging new young people to join the group. As part of CAP’s commitment to provide alternative, alcohol-free activities for young people, Tessa has also introduced Manga drawing workshops, which promote alcohol awareness while giving young people something new and interesting to do in the school holidays. There has been so much tv coverage of this innovative scheme that Tessa is CAP’s latest media star!”
CAP’s 2017 impact report shows how local CAPs are empowering communities by bringing together retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to tackle underage drinking and improve the quality of life for residents. CAP has now announced plans to double the number of CAPs around the country and extend its remit to provide continued support as children become young adults.
National CAP Chair Derek Lewis said: “CAPs offer an evidence-based and locally tailored response to underage alcohol problems. Our targeted approach means that we bring effective national programmes to areas with greatest harms. It is clear from the compelling body of evidence presented in this report that CAPs are making a tangible positive difference to young people, residents and local communities.”
MP Fiona Bruce, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm, said: “It is absolutely vital that we protect young people from the devastating effects of alcohol harm. British children are more likely to binge drink or get drunk than children in most other European countries. This brings serious risks to their health and development and impacts on a wide range of issues, from underperformance at school and later exclusion from the job market, to mental ill health, sexual exploitation, homelessness and imprisonment. I very much welcome CAP’s joined-up, partnership approach to addressing this issue.”
For media information please contact: Julia Shipston, Communications Manager at CAP: tel: 0771 3163003.
Notes for Editors
- Photographs of Helen Walker and Tessa Brunsden attached.
- In 2014, 38% of 11-15 year olds in England had drunk alcohol. This continued the downward trend since 2003, when 61% of pupils had drunk alcohol.1 However 4% said they drank alcohol at least once a week and a further 5% said they drank once a fortnight.2
- Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) schemes are set up to tackle underage drinking and the resulting harm to local communities. All schemes are managed and delivered locally via partnerships between local authorities, police, retailers, schools and neighbourhood groups and health providers, offering a flexible model tailored to fit the needs of each community. All schemes incorporate a mixture of education, enforcement, community engagement and the provision of diversionary activities for young people.
- CAP is a community interest company (CIC), funded by major retailers who share its concerns about underage drinking. Current funders include: Aldi, ASDA, ACS, Brown Forman, Co-op, Diageo, Heineken, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Molson Coors, One Stop, Sainsbury’s, SHS Drinks, Tesco and Waitrose. We are also grateful to the Welsh Government which provided £15,000 towards the establishment of three new CAPs in Wales.
- The first CAP was set up in St Neots in 2007. Between 2014 and 2016 the number of CAPs more than doubled and there are now 150 across the UK.
1 Statistics on Alcohol, Health and Social Care Information Centre, published 30 June 2016.
2 Data intelligence summary: Alcohol consumption and harm among under 18 year olds, Public Health England, published July 2016.