Pupils and parents at King Alfred’s Academy in Wantage are set to take part in a special event aimed at highlighting the dangers of underage drinking.
An Alcohol Action Day, set to take place on Tuesday 27 March, is being organised by the Wantage and Grove Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP).
During the daytime Year Nine pupils will take part in workshops and see presentations on issues such as the damage alcohol can do to a young person’s health and mental wellbeing, how alcohol can lead to risk-taking behaviours, and the legal consequences of attempting to buy alcohol underage. The session will also cover other issues that young people may struggle with, including substance abuse, mental health, and building healthy relationships.
The daytime event will feature guest speakers from Thames Valley Police, the NHS and other local organisations. It will finish with a presentation from young singer/songwriter Henry Maybury, whose song ‘Lost Days’, which has been viewed over a million times on YouTube, was written in tribute to his brother Tom who died from an alcohol related illness.
In the evening there will then be a separate session for parents of year 9 pupils to learn how underage drinking could affect their child. Local organisations and charities which support young people’s wellbeing, will be on hand to offer advice.
Cllr Eric Batts, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “We had very positive feedback from pupils and parents following last year’s events. The work carried out by Wantage and Grove CAP has helped to achieve a noticeable decrease in underage drinking and an increase in the awareness of the issue locally”.
James Maddern, Assistant Headteacher for Engagement and Ethos from King Alfred’s Academy, said: “Working collaboratively with many partners has enabled the school to provide a day for our year nine students that educates our students on the risks of alcohol. This is vital for our students and we are incredibly grateful for the involvement of the Wantage and Grove CAP.”
MEDIA INVITE -
Members of the media are invited to attend the Alcohol Action Day for interview or photo opportunities. If you wish to send someone along to cover the event please contact Roxanne Boulter at [email protected] or 01235 754071 by 26 March to confirm the time you will be attending and any requirements you may have.
Notes for editors:
Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) schemes are set up to tackle underage drinking and the resulting harm to local communities. The Wantage and Grove CAP is managed and delivered locally in partnership between representatives from King Alfred’s Academy, the Vale of White Horse District Council, Thames Valley Police, the NHS, local retailers, and youth club ‘Sweatbox’. All schemes incorporate a mixture of education, enforcement, community engagement and the provision of diversionary activities for young people.
CAPs operate throughout the UK, made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to empower communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents.
Since the CAP started in Wantage in 2015 the number of underage people who say that they never drink alcohol has increased from 17 per cent to 41 per cent*. Of those who do drink the frequency has shown a welcome decrease:
- At least once a week – from 15 per cent to 5 per cent
- Once or twice a month – from 28 per cent to 16 per cent
- Only a few times a month – from 32 per cent to 27 per cent
*according to the results of the CAP Student Survey 2018.