Hastings man receives national award for work tackling underage drinking
John Whittington, Community Safety Manager at Hastings Borough Council, has received the Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) award for innovation for his work tackling underage drinking. He received the award from CAP chair Derek Lewis at the annual CAP celebration event which this year took place at the Welsh Assembly.
Mr Lewis said, “The Hastings Ore CAP has taken an innovative, multi-agency approach to reducing underage drinking and anti-social behavior, including working closely with local schools, inviting students to its meetings and encouraging take up of the Royal Society of Public Health Young Health Champions scheme. Of particular note is its work with East Sussex Public Health, which commissioned a social marketing intervention, called Think Again Now which aimed to tackle parental supply of alcohol. Pre and post evaluations showed it successfully increased parents’ knowledge of the facts relating to alcohol harm and debunked many myths about supplying alcohol to children. John has been the driving force behind the CAP’s success in Hastings, Ore, and I am delighted to present him with this award.”
Community Alcohol Partnerships bring together retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, to empower communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents. Their 2018 annual report, launched at the event, shows how this innovative partnership approach has positive impacts on underage drinking, anti-social behaviour, litter, residents’ feelings of safety and underage/proxy alcohol purchase around the UK.
Derek Lewis added: “In spite of welcome evidence that fewer young people are drinking alcohol, British children are still more likely to binge drink and get drunk than children in most other European countries. Regular and/or excessive drinking can be seriously damaging to their health and development while increasing the risk of excessive consumption in later life. Communtiy Alchol Partnerships offer an evidence based, proportionate and locally tailored response to underage alcohol problems.”
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