Beth Winters MP presenting the award to Melanie Blaney and PC Lorraine Tinsley, South Wales Police

Youth Engagement Bus wins in the Innovation category

Pontypridd Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) has won a national award for its innovative work in tackling underage drinking and promoting the health and wellbeing of local young people in the local area.

Pontypridd CAP received the award for ‘Innovation’ at an event at Westminster on June 27.

The partnership was launched in 2019 to tackle underage drinking in the local area and was praised at the awards event for its Youth Engagement Bus which operates in Pontypridd, Porth and the Cynon Valley.

The bus, which runs at least two nights per week, focuses on travelling to areas which are known to be hotspots for anti-social behaviour with a team of volunteers from the local Police, drug and alcohol services and youth outreach.

Inside the bus is a plethora of services and items for young people to use or take away, including: hot drinks, biscuits, sweets, fidget toys, sanitary items, toothpaste, shower gel, condoms, information boards about alcohol, cannabis and substance misuse, pickled livers to highlight the risks of alcohol harm and a toilet available for young people to use.

The bus even has light up footballs for impromptu games of football in the dark, whistles and torches.

In the last 12 months, the team has engaged with over 11,000 young people.

About CAP

There are currently over 250 CAP partnerships 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 led to significant reductions to children’s drinking, anti-social behaviour and underage sales in areas where it has created local partnerships.

Nationally, CAP evaluations show:

  • 64% 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 52%
  • 42% reduction in anti-social behaviour
  • 40% 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.”

You can download a copy of the annual report here: CAP_Annual_Review_2022-23_-_digitalFINAL.pdf