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Tessa Brunsden CAP Awards 2022 1

Reading Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) has won two national awards for its work tackling underage drinking and promoting the health and wellbeing of local young people. Tessa Brunsden, who works for Reading Borough Council and is the CAP co-ordinator, received the CAP+ of the Year Award plus the Award for Innovation at CAP’s celebration event at Westminster on June 6.

Presenting the CAP+ award, Matthew Golledge, Public Protection Manager at Reading Borough Council, and a CAP Director, said: “I am delighted to present this award for CAP+ of the year to Tessa Brunsden. Reading CAP was launched in 2015 and is now designated CAP+, which means it has delivered its action plans but continues to meet regularly to ensure that progress is maintained. 

This CAP certainly isn’t resting on its laurels. The pandemic proved challenging to most of us and Reading CAP was no exception. But it continued to innovate and find new ways of working to ensure its projects continued and that it kept up its momentum and engagement. It moved its retailer training sessions and school talks online and formed important new partnerships within the town.  

The CAP continues to do an amazing job and its efforts are genuinely making a difference to people in the community. Well done Reading CAP.” 

Tessa also received the Innovation Award from CAP chairman Derek Lewis. He said: “Tessa wears many hats, combining her work for CAP with her role at Trading Standards and Public Health, and continually finds new ways of working that meet the objectives of all three organisations.  

As just one example, Tessa recently offered a day’s work experience to young people who wanted to learn more about the role that trading standards departments play in enforcing laws around age restricted products like alcohol and tobacco. It was a great opportunity for them to understand how important retailers are in upholding these laws and protecting young people and the community.  

Tessa works tirelessly and with great dedication to improve the lives of young people in Reading. This award is richly deserved.”   

Since CAP was created 15 years ago, more than 250 schemes have been launched in England, Scotland and Wales. They bring together local stakeholders with a shared interest in preventing underage drinking and encouraging responsible drinking among young adults. CAP partnerships are made up of retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to protect young people from alcohol harm.

CAP’s annual report, launched at the event, shows how this innovative partnership approach has brought significant reductions to children’s drinking, anti-social behaviour and underage sales in areas where it has created local partnerships:

Nationally, CAP evaluations show:

· 62% reduction in weekly drinking for 13-16 year olds

· After CAP training, 98% of retailers passed a Challenge 25 compliance test – from an average baseline of 50%

· 42% reduction in anti-social behaviour

· 68% reduction in residents reporting children and young people drinking in public places to be a very big or fairly big problem

CAP Director Kate Winstanley says: “I’m delighted that in CAP areas around the country we are seeing such sustained reductions in regular drinking and anti-social behaviour among young people. CAPs are having a significant impact on reducing children’s alcohol consumption, improving their health and wellbeing and enhancing the communities where they live.” CAP’s 2021/2022 annual report can be viewed here.

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For more information about Community Alcohol Partnerships see: www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk

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CAP acts as a great catalyst to broaden community safety partnership working. The involvement of retailers and others to take personal responsibility for their communities can introduce different thinking and innovation to effectively resolve local issues that impact adversely on people’s lives.

Chief Inspector David Pennings
Northamptonshire Police

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