Youngsters ‘facing’ up to alcohol woes

Alcohol Misuse Posters

Poster produced by Blackpool Boys and Girls Club Mereside Centre to promote alcohol awareness and responsible behaviour
Alcohol Misuse Posters Poster produced by Blackpool Boys and Girls Club Mereside Centre to promote alcohol awareness and responsible behaviour
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Youngsters hope their hard-hitting posters will get the message across about alcohol harm.

Children and teenagers who attend Blackpool Boys and Girls Club have designed the banners as part of a project highlighting the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

Now it is hoped they can be rolled out across the town as part of moves to tackle Blackpool’s booze crisis.

Jed Sullivan, youth worker at the Boys and Girls Club which meets at Mereside, said: “We deliver a curriculum around health and personal development and as part of that we do work around drugs and alcohol.

“Hopefully by the end of it the kids involved will have a greater understanding of the risks of getting drunk.

“The poster campaign has been driven by the young people and we feel it is a more effective message coming in this form, rather than from grown ups.

“Peer-led projects really work for us.”

Dave Blacker, another youth worker for the Boys and Girls Club, said: “The youngsters designed the posters in their own time and it was something they really wanted to do.

“The constant theme of the work we are doing is around building resilience and young people need to be strong enough to say no.

“Ideally we would like to share the posters with schools in the town because early intervention and education is critical to shaping responsible attitudes to alcohol among young people.”

One of the youngsters Danny Dodds, 18, who helped design the posters, said: “The thing I enjoyed about the project is that I have learned about different backgrounds and learning about how life works, and understand people need help and support in dealing with such things as drugs and alcohol addiction.”

The Blackpool Fairness Commission says it will now explore the possibility of distributing the posters around the town.

It comes on the back of a fresh alcohol strategy being discussed by health chiefs who say tackling the harm being caused by alcohol abuse in Blackpool remains a priority.

Measures being considered include ensuring an education programme goes into schools and is completed by at least 2,500 pupils each year.

An action plan within the Blackpool Alcohol Strategy 2016-2019 also includes exploring the possibility of introducing a by-law banning the advertising of alcohol in Blackpool.

The town has the highest rate of alcohol related hospital admissions of any local authority in England, with 75 deaths in 2013 directly due to alcohol.

nIf you live in Blackpool and have concerns about alcohol or drugs, please contact Horizon, which offers free and confidential support and treatment.

Ring 01253 752100, email hello@horizonblackpool.uk. Or, if you are under 25 years old, please ring the hub on 01253 476010.”