Corby Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) has won a national award for its work tackling underage drinking. It received the CAP Excellence in Education Award at an online event on March 31 to launch CAP’s national annual report and highlight the resilience and determination of local communities to reduce alcohol harm among young people, improve their health and wellbeing and enhance their communities during this challenging time.
Presenting the award, Tom Pursglove MP for Corby & East Northamptonshire, said: “Corby CAP has an excellent working relationship with schools across the borough and prides itself on working collaboratively with partners to deliver quality education and engagement on this very important issue. When the pandemic hit, it quickly came up with an innovative programme to enable it to continue circulating educational messages and also to raise awareness of the risks of excessive drinking at home during ‘lockdown’ restrictions. It gives me great pleasure to present this award for excellence in education to Laura Shaw and Suzanne Preston of Corby CAP, who have, and continue to do, an amazing job - their efforts are genuinely making a difference to people in our community.”
Recognising that early intervention provides young people with the knowledge and confidence to make safe, informed decisions around alcohol, the CAP held seven awareness sessions with pupils at Beanfield Primary School to begin developing an understanding of alcohol and its effects. Around 240 pupils took part in games and quizzes and tried beer goggles to simulate how alcohol affects co-ordination. This important programme is now being offered to all primary schools across the borough.
When many children were restricted to online learning, Corby CAP reviewed its engagement programme and found creative ways of getting its messages across.
It arranged for young singer/songwriter Henry Maybury to give a virtual presentation to pupils at Corby Primary Academy as part of Alcohol Awareness Week. Henry travels around schools and prisons to share his story and music, delivering a powerful message about the dangers of alcohol.
The CAP also launched a borough-wide poster campaign at sites where there were still significant levels of footfall like the town centre and held an inventive QR code treasure hunt competition in two local alcohol hotspots. Individuals could scan the codes using a mobile phone to access websites with relevant support and information and answer alcohol related questions to win a gift.
Eye catching bollard covers were installed outside Morrisons and Tesco stores in the borough, promoting key health education messages, and an email was circulated to all staff at Corby Borough Council, highlighting the impact of alcohol on physical and mental health and containing links to organisations offering advice and support.
214 CAP schemes have now been launched throughout the country. They 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.
The CAP annual report, launched at the online event, shows how this innovative partnership approach has brought significant reductions around the UK in alcohol supply to children, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and underage street drinking.
Nationally, CAP evaluations for the period 2016-2020 show:
- 61% average reductions in weekly drinking among 13-16 year olds
- 99% of retailers passed Challenge 25 compliance test for alcohol sales
- 86% of retailers did not sell alcohol when they suspected it was a ‘proxy’ sale
- 50% reduction in young people hanging around shops and asking adults to buy alcohol for them
- 42% reduction in youth alcohol-related anti-social behaviour
Derek Lewis, chair of CAP, said: “Like many organisations, CAP has been hit hard by Covid. Nevertheless, the power of the partnership model to respond to changing circumstances and innovate has never been more clearly demonstrated. The examples in this report show how, despite the pandemic, CAPs have found creative ways to protect young people from alcohol harm and promote their health and wellbeing. We have also seized the opportunity to invest in the future by developing our work in Scotland and creating online resources to enable us to grow faster and be even more cost-effective.”
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About Community Alcohol Partnerships:
- Since CAP was created in 2007, it has launched 214 schemes in England, Scotland and Wales. They bring together a range of local stakeholders with a shared interest in preventing underage drinking and encouraging responsible drinking among young adults. 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, improve their health and wellbeing and enhance their communities.
- For more information and to see the annual report: www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk