Students from Wakefield City Academy are taking the initiative by promoting the risks of underage drinking. The students have been invited to work with the Wakefield Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) which will support them in their role as CAP Ambassadors to develop initiatives and projects to promote harm reduction and prevention messages.
Teachers at the Academy have been working with the young ambassadors to come up with innovative ways of explaining the risks associated with underage drinking, including information on units and strengths of alcoholic drinks and a graphic demonstration of the damage that alcohol can have on the liver by leaving slivers of lambs liver in alcohol overnight to see how they became “pickled”.
The lesson plans are created by the teachers and are developed from the Alcohol Education Trust’s (AET) evaluated programme, Talk about Alcohol. The role of the CAP Ambassadors is to come up with innovative ways of explaining or demonstrating this information to their peers.
Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield, presented the young ambassadors with certificates to celebrate the important work they are doing. Whilst the number of young people drinking alcohol decreases year on year those who are drinking alcohol tend to be drinking more. Drinking alcohol underage can result in short and long term issues impacting on health, education and young people’s future prospects. Underage drinking also increases the risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and crime which also affects the wider community.
Mary Creagh said: “It was great to hear from our new Community Alcohol Partnership Ambassadors about the important work they are doing in Wakefield to raise awareness of the risks of underage drinking. City Academy’s students have set a great example, creating campaigns for young people, by young people. I wish them every success for the future.”
Wakefield is one of 33 areas taking part in the Government’s Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAA) programme, announced on Friday 27 January. The Academy has been named outstanding in its OFSTED report.
Notes for Editors
- 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. 1However 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 alcohol retailers and producers 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 by the end of 2016 there were 124 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.