New partnership highlighting the risks of underage drinking to launch in Cumberland

A new partnership highlighting the risks of underage drinking has been launched in Cumberland today. (3rd July will be launch date)

The launch coincides with Alcohol Awareness Week (3-9 July), which aims to ensure people have a better knowledge around alcohol and can make more informed choices, including seeking support if needed.

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

The new CAP will cover the area of Whitehaven, Cleator Moor, Millom and Egremont and will be known as South Cumberland CAP. It will work with youth services and local organisations to provide alcohol-free activities for young people. It will 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.

Working with local retailers, CAP aims to help them avoid making underage sales and reduce ‘proxy’ sales where adults buy alcohol for under-18s.

Partners in the South Cumberland CAP include youth services, charities, the police, community safety, licensing, schools and public health.

Leigh Williams, Chair of South Cumberland CAP and CEO of Cumbria Addictions: Advice and Solutions, said: “Young people can face difficult challenges in their lives, and we need to ensure they have the confidence to help them make the right decisions, especially since alcohol abuse can severely impact on the ability to make positive choices. Young people drinking can also impact on the whole community and we have listened to local concerns, and I am pleased to see the community and partners coming together in this new CAP initiative to tackle these issues.”

Derek Lewis, Chair of CAP, comments: “I am always pleased to see the launch of new partnerships.

“We know from research that underage drinking can lead to many social and educational problems for children and young people. We also know from our evaluations that CAPs are having a significant impact on reducing alcohol consumption amongst 13- and 16-year-olds in the areas in which they operate.

“Local CAP schemes are established and run by people from a variety of organisations within their communities, including retailers, local authorities, police forces and schools to identify and tackle the problems associated with underage drinking. All CAPs are tailored to the needs of their local community which means that they are highly effective in getting to the root cause of the problem.”

Throughout Alcohol Awareness Week, CADAS will be sharing a range of online articles and social media posts to support the campaign. These will include topics such as the cost of alcohol, ways to cut down on drinking and where to get support for individuals and family members.

The local police will be calling in to licensed premises in the area to discuss the CAP and to give out posters and flyers warning against proxy purchase. They will also provide details of the free online Challenge 25 training.

A spokesperson for Alcohol Change UK said: “By taking action to reduce alcohol harm, we can reduce the personal, societal and economic costs of alcohol leading to a happier, healthier society for all.”

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