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A PROJECT aiming to make young people in west Cumbria aware of the dangers of drinking will be offering hands-on education at one of the area’s key Christmas events this weekend.

Police and partner agencies will be on hand at the Seaton Lights Switch On, taking place on Sunday.

Organisers are hoping activities such as trying on beer goggles to replicate the effects of being drunk will help bring home to people the impact of alcohol in a way that grabs people’s interest.

Sergeant Suzanne Redikin – manager of the local focus hub based at Cockermouth police station – will be among those on the stall available to talk to people.

She works as part of a Community Alcohol Partnership – an alliance of agencies such as local authorities, schools, shops, neighbourhood groups, health providers and charities.

They work together to encourage communities to tackle-alcohol related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents in the area covered.

Sgt Redikin said: “We’d love people to visit our stall at the Christmas Lights switch on.

“It’s bound to be a great event for the community and we hope activities such as the beer goggles will prove interesting and educational.”

The stall will be available throughout the event between 3pm and 6pm near the rest of the Light Switch On festivities.

Sgt Redikin added: “The aim of the Community Alcohol Partnership is to reduce the sale of alcohol to young people and improve the quality of life for residents; this is the beginning of a long term project which will see other events throughout Allerdale.

“Although alcohol-related trouble is not a huge problem in Seaton, a recent survey demonstrated there are pockets of the area where youths will congregate and consume alcohol.

“We hope our work and the event on Sunday will help continue to educate people about some of the problems associated with alcohol.”

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Since this project was delivered there have been dramatic changes in the behaviour of many of the children. This has meant that, for example, three children who were on the verge of exclusion are now fully engaged in the life of the school. The children talk very positively about the work that they completed with CAP and the project generally.

Ridge Community Primary School, Lancaster

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