Welcome to Community Alcohol Partnerships

Cat Smith MP with Samantha Beetham and Lisa RichardsonAlcohol education is an integral part of CAP and here, Samantha Beetham, Senior Officer at Lancashire Trading Standards, describes the innovative work that Lancaster CAP is doing with schools in the area. Last year  the CAP won the national CAP award for excellence in education, and Samantha (pictured centre) and co-ordinator Lisa Richardson, Director of EMUES CIC UK, received the award at Westminster. This year the CAP was again a winner, when it took the 2018 award for most improved locality.

Samantha says: We have put together a core offer for primary and secondary schools within the CAP area, with the aim of being flexible and tailoring sessions to the needs of the school. This consists of:

Primary

We have developed a range of resources with a local charity, Every Action Has Consequences. These are based on a real life incident when a young man – Adam - was killed by a single punch from a drunken 16 year old. The story has been adapted for primary aged children with an animated film looking at the consequences of actions and the effects on parents and friends, focussing on anger management and how alcohol can affect judgement. In the final session Adam’s parents and brother attend the school enabling the young people to engage with them. The school can then build on these sessions encouraging 'Adam’s champions' to be established in classrooms to deal with issues of bullying and bad behaviour. Feedback from this session is always extremely positive as the messages are so powerful and long lasting.

We also offer a session relating to alcohol and physical activity . The resource used was developed by Trading Standards working with young people across Lancashire and received a nation award from Mentor in 2008. It is an interactive website 'Lookout Alcohol' which covers a wide range of alcohol issues relating to the purchasing and laws around alcohol, ASB, advertising, health impacts etc.

Secondary

For secondary schools we offer the film of Adam’s story with footage from interviews with police, the family, health professionals and CCTV footage of the actual incident. Its focus is on casual attitudes to violence and binge drinking and the consequences of actions and Adam’s family attend the sessions to emphasise the real consequences of getting it wrong. These are very powerful messages which provide numerous activities for classes to get involved in throughout the year, such as Anti-Bullying Week and Healthy Lifestyles Week and become part of the ethos of a school.

We offer a choice from three other sessions which all have a link with alcohol but have slightly different focuses – ranging from drugs and mental health issues to vulnerability – and make our comprehensive suite of resources freely available to all Lancashire schools.”

The CAP also offers tailored training sessions for staff and information evenings for parents if required.

A vital part of the CAP’s work has been engaging with young people, getting them involved in the campaign and building their trust. The CAP held engagement nights with local young people to discuss the issue of underage drinking and anti-social behaviour. They told us there was nothing for them to do – the community centre had no funding, access to the sports field had been cut off and there were very few facilities for young people. So far CAP has held community events, reopened access to the sports field, cleared the discussed BMX track and held street art sessions. Working hard to engage with this traditionally difficult-to-reach group has been key to our success.

Scott Adams
Cumbria Constabulary

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