Alcohol Awareness Week 2019: events around the UK

May 2020 | 9 minutes

Here are just a few of the activities local authorities, pharmacies, GP surgeries, charities, workplaces and other local organisations across the country organised for Alcohol Awareness Week 2019 to raise awareness about alcohol harm, encourage people to drink more healthily and signpost people to support.

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Serious Harm Reduction Unit, Leicestershire Police

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Substance Misuse Community Safety Partnership agreed on a shared social media communications plan to be used throughout Alcohol Awareness Week by all partners, including the Police, City and County Councils, and treatment services. Local organisations were provided with resource packs containing signposting information and posters downloaded from our website. These were put up in numerous locations across the county.

Information stands were arranged at local venues, including universities, staffed by members of the local recovery community who were willing to share their own experiences with alcohol. Often, creative and engaging activities were also included, such as mocktail-making classes and a ‘MarioKart Challenge’ which ran throughout the week. In this challenge participants were asked to race around a track on the popular video game when they had no alcohol in their system, and also while wearing ‘beer goggles’. There were prizes on offer to both individuals and the organisations they were representing. Over 2,000 people took part in the challenge throughout the week and all were provided with further information about alcohol harm, making it a big success.

For next Alcohol Awareness Week... There are lots of creative ways to get involved with Alcohol Awareness Week – we love the idea of a beer goggle MarioKart Challenge or a mocktail class! Could you engage members of the local community in planning events for the week?

Queen Alexandra Hospital

At the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, Sandra, an occupational therapist, organised poster displays on the neurology and stroke wards. She shared information around safe drinking guidelines after sustaining a brain injury, as well as brief intervention advice leaflets. Two patients were referred to her that week and given one-to-one advice sessions.

The specialist alcohol nurse team completed a trolley dash on the Tuesday of Alcohol Awareness Week, staffed by other alcohol champions around the hospital, aimed at raising awareness among different patient groups about alcohol. Referral to alcohol nurse services was highlighted, as well as brief interventions for patients with a profile of increased risky drinking. There were also quizzes about drinking guidelines, units and how to reduce your alcohol consumption.

Last but not least, there was an information display staffed by specialist alcohol nurses at the entrance to the staff canteen, which resulted in some excellent conversations.

For next Alcohol Awareness Week... Do you work in or for a hospital? How about setting up a display? You could also think about offering training for members of staff, both to help them in their work with patients and so they can get support if they are struggling with alcohol themselves.

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Officers from Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Public Health team and local alcohol treatment services offered advice and information across the district by setting up stalls in various public spaces, including Bath Central Library, St Martin’s Hospital and a local Co-op. Further information was provided at GP surgeries and pharmacies.

For next Alcohol Awareness Week… Do you work for a local council? How about setting up an information stall somewhere central? You could ask a local treatment service to come along and provide people with advice and answer any questions people may have. Our scratchcards are a great conversation starter, too.

Carers Support West Sussex

For last year’s Alcohol Awareness Week, Carers Support West Sussex organised training sessions for those whose loved ones access Change Grow Live’s substance misuse support services. The training covered topics like:defining terms associated with alcohol use, identifying reasons for substance use and exploring its impact on others, exploring health behaviour change and looking at the range of local and national support services available.

They also had stands in local hospitals, providing information, leaflets and scratch cards, which gained a lot of interest from hospital staff as well as the general public.

More activities were organised in the three Carers Support offices across the county. Beer goggles, unit glasses, posters and scratch cards were used to engage people in conversations about alcohol. A few members of staff even gave up alcohol for the whole month, and reported back about the changes they’d seen!

For next Alcohol Awareness Week… Could you run Alcohol Awareness Week in your workplace? Each year workplaces in the UK lose an estimated 167,000 working years to alcohol – so helping your team to develop healthier drinking behaviours can only be a good thing! Sign up for Alcohol Awareness Week resources to find out more about alcohol in the workplace

Corby Borough Council Housing and Neighbourhood services

The Safer Corby team worked alongside the Neighbourhood Policing Teams and other partners to deliver a range of activities, such as information displays. They also worked to deliver a trial alcohol awareness education project to Year 5 and 6 pupils at a local school and learning community. Lodge Park Academy was visited by songwriter Henry Maybury, who has written a performance based around his brother’s experience of alcohol misuse. The team worked to draw attention to proxy purchasing – where someone buys alcohol on another’s behalf. This was done by refreshing and highlighting the penalties for such an offence, and working with three local off-licences to prevent and reduce instances of proxy purchasing.

For next Alcohol Awareness Week... Could you reach out to partner organisations to get involved with the week? Use our free resources to set up a display and increase people’s understanding of alcohol.

Are you running an event, display or campaign for Alcohol Awareness Week? Let us know! We would love to know what you’re planning.

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