It’s not about the alcohol - A handbook for addressing alcohol issues in their community context

English | Cymraeg

3 July 2017

Note: This report was funded and/or written by our predecessor organisation Alcohol Concern.


In November 2015, one of the most popular sessions at Alcohol Concern’s annual conference in London was a workshop entitled Poetry, football and ballroom dancing: community development as a means to alcohol harm reduction. In it, delegates heard about our Communities Together project, which had begun in January the previous year in the twin towns of Fishguard and Goodwick on the north Pembrokeshire coast.

These towns had not been chosen by us because they had extraordinary alcohol-related problems. On the contrary, they sit very much in the middle of various indexes and are typical of many other towns. By working there, we were seeking to create a project that could be developed, replicated, adapted and applied anywhere, according to local circumstances.

Our aim from the start was to encourage local people to talk about the good and bad sides of alcohol use in their lives and their neighbourhoods, and to do that in an open and honest way. We certainly have not aimed to discourage alcohol use altogether, rather to promote a healthy relationship with alcohol, for individuals and for the community as a whole.

The project has been created by ordinary social drinkers for ordinary social drinkers. It’s always been about “us who drink” (i.e. around 80% of the adult population), not about “those problem drinkers over there”.