An innovative new Community Alcohol Partnership highlighting the risks of underage drinking to children and young people was launch in Darwen on Monday 4th December 2023.

Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers who work together to highlight the risks of underage drinking and improve the health and wellbeing of local children and young people.

The partnerships provide alcohol-free activities for young people and encourage conversation about underage drinking and the risks associated with it. They also work with local schools to educate young people about underage drinking and ensure that they are equipped to make the right decisions about issues such as alcohol and drugs and anti-social and criminal behaviour.

In addition, CAPs work with local retailers to help them avoid making underage sales and reduce ‘proxy’ sales where adults buy alcohol for under-18s.

Partners in the Darwen CAP include: Blackburn with Darwen Council, Lancashire Police, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, Early Break, Blackburn Youth Zone, youth organisations, alcohol support services and local retailers.

Kate Winstanley, Director of CAP said: We know from extensive research that underage drinking can lead to school and educational problems, as well as unsafe sex, drug-taking, violence and drinking problems in later life”.

‘We also know that the work CAPs do in local communities can lead to significant reductions in alcohol supply to children, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and underage street drinking in local communities. It’s great to see local partners coming together in this new CAP to highlight the risks of underage drinking and reduce alcohol harm among our young people.”

Rachel Wilcock, Senior Trading Standards Officer at Blackburn with Darwen Council said: It’s brilliant to be part of CAP and help to educate local young people about the risks of underage drinking and improve their health and wellbeing. We’re always keen to work with partners as it means that we can collectively use our knowledge and experience to benefit children and young people as well as the wider community.”

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