“Explain Alcohol” is an important new partnership campaign that was launched on Thursday, 18th March 2010.
One of the biggest influences on young people’s alcohol use is how parents use alcohol and whether they talk about it to their children. This campaign aims to enable parents and their children to have good levels of communication when it comes to alcohol. It is particularly designed with the 11-13 age group in mind.
Celebrity mum Anna Ryder-Richardson, who helped to launch the campaign, said
“I am pleased to be supporting this campaign. Alcohol is an issue that our children need to learn about in order to drink responsibly when they reach an age at which drinking alcohol becomes acceptable. As a parent myself, I feel that it is vitally important that the health effects both physically and mentally – are explained to children from an age at which they can understand.
“The conversation cards are an excellent tool for parents to use to speak to their children about alcohol, especially for those parents who may not know how to approach the subject.”
Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Community Safety Partnerships joined forces to secure funding from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Making the Connections Fund to run the campaign.
The partnerships co-ordinate and drive the efforts of all agencies that have a part to play in tackling crime and disorder, such as the council, the police, health professionals, the fire service and the voluntary sector.
Working on behalf of all such agencies, the partnerships will deliver the message of Explain Alcohol via adverts, banners, posters, leaflets and radio broadcasts. It will also manage the www.explainalcohol.co.uk website that is supporting the campaign. As part of this campaign, discussion cards have been produced and will be distributed throughout both counties towards the end of the summer term, before the schools break up for the summer holidays. The cards aim to prompt discussion around alcohol, its consumption and the situations young people can find themselves in as a result.
There are a range of support services on offer, and the www.explainalcohol.co.uk website provides contact details of these services.
Phil Bevan, who heads Community Safety in Rhondda Cynon Taff, added: ““This campaign is aimed at one of the main challenges that we face in the community safety partnerships – underage alcohol use and the harm that can be caused by it. We are aiming at parents because of their considerable influence over how their children view alcohol. It is our intention that both by example and by conversation we can improve the understanding among 11-13 year olds about the risks of alcohol use. If we can inform them properly at this age then they are more well prepared for the rest of their teenage years.”
The Chief Medical Officer recently published a report stating that children under 15 should not be given alcohol as it can damage their health.
Beverly Owen, Community Safety Manager for Merthyr Tydfil CBC, said: “Merthyr Tydfil Community Safety Partnership is pleased to be supporting this campaign. The negative effects of alcohol are issues that our children need to learn about when they reach an age at which drinking alcohol becomes acceptable. It is vitally important that the health effects both physically and mentally – are explained to children from an age at which they can understand.”
With the Easter and Summer Holidays fast approaching, now is the ideal time to speak to your children.
It will run alongside the Alcohol Is No Excuse campaign, which was launched earlier this year by rugby hero Martyn Williams in a bid to change the behaviour and perceptions of those affected by alcohol-related domestic abuse including both victims and offenders.
Alcoholisnoexcuse.co.uk provides the information, support and signposting for victims and offenders alike will continue to run, offering interventions to those affected by the issue.