Welcome to Community Alcohol Partnerships

Young people in West Cumbria have voted to fund Community Alcohol Partnerships’ Young Health Champions (YHC) programme as part of the #CanDo project.

#CanDo is part of Transforming West Cumbria, funded by Sellafield Ltd and managed by Cumbria Community Foundation. Its youth panel considers the funding applications that are put to them, ensuring their views are valued and acted upon.

With its grant of £4,824, Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) will work with the Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS) to enable 30 disadvantaged young people in Copeland to become young health champions. They will work towards a Level 2 qualification to give them the skills, knowledge and confidence to become peer mentors and take part in social action campaigns in their local communities. 

Traditionally the YHC course is delivered in school settings but CAP has pioneered its delivery in non-school settings and for children outside mainstream education. In response to the Covid-19 crisis it has also developed online delivery for the course.

CAPs are made up of partnerships between retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to empower communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve their health and wellbeing. One of CAP’s priorities is alcohol education, to ensure that young people are equipped to make the right decisions about a range of issues, including alcohol, drugs, anti-social and criminal behaviour.

Kate Winstanley, Director of CAP, said: “We know that young people’s drinking can put them at increased risk of physical and social harm. This very welcome funding will enable us to support a further 30 disadvantaged young people who will not only increase their own awareness of the risks of underage drinking but will be empowered to spread the message to their peers and communities.”

Leigh Williams, CEO of CADAS said: “Creating CAPs across West Cumbria is a key part of bringing the right services together to focus on support for young people regarding substance use.  The YHC programme is a great addition to the CAP portfolio as it gives us more time to support a specific group of young people to explore health issues that are really relevant to them and their community.  We are actively looking for groups working with young people throughout Copeland and Allerdale to get in touch with us if they are interested in this great, fully funded opportunity.”

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Alcohol and underage drinking is the underlying cause of a range of problems so by tackling this issue through early intervention and by taking prompt, positive action whenever problems start to emerge we can make a real difference in communities, whilst at the same time helping to stop young people being drawn further into offending and into the Criminal Justice System. I am delighted to offer my support to the Community Alcohol Partnership projects in South Wales.

Alun Michael
Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales and former Secretary of State for Wales

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