A few weeks ago was Alcohol Awareness Week, our annual campaign to increase awareness around alcohol harm. This year, we focused particularly on the impact alcohol has on families. Over 800 organisations up and down the country, ranging from schools to local authorities to fire stations, got on board with the campaign. Here are just a few of the great events of the week.

1. The Keys Childcare Group

One of the largest care providers for children and young people, the Keys Childcare Group has childrens homes and schools across the UK offering specialist care and support. In order to raise awareness of Alcohol Awareness Week within their homes and schools, they ran specialised alcohol training with all staff. Staff learned about the impact of parental substance use on children and young people, and were given the Alcohol Concern 're- think your drink' scratch cards to understand safer drinking limits. Young people within the homes and schools throughout the UK have also been having group and 1:1 discussions about the impact of alcohol, and have made some fabulous posters which are displayed in the homes.

2. Cambridgeshire Child & Adolescent Substance Use Service

Cambridgeshire Child & Adolescent Substance Use Service sent an information pack to all secondary schools in Cambridgeshire, including special lesson plans, to encourage schools to have open conversations with their pupils about alcohol. These were used during the week, and will continue to be used on an ongoing basis, to help create a safe place for conversations with young people about alcohol, and how families can be impacted. They also sent some of our Alcohol Awareness Week resources to help with this.

3. Worcestershire Health and Wellbeing Board 

Worcestershire Health and Wellbeing Board ran a stakeholder event to reflect the health and wellbeing boards Alcohol Plan 2016-2021. The event included a variety of speakers, who spoke about their experiences working locally in the alcohol field. They highlighted a national perspective as well as a local one, emphasised real life stories from people who have been affected by alcohol, and took questions from the public via social media and local radio. Speakers included Dr Fenella Johnstone, who discussed the dangers to those who don't realise their regular drinking (despite it seeming normal) may be a problem. The South Worcestershire Detached Youth Team also spoke about alcohol misuse amongst young people, and ways that peer advice can reduce this.

4. Tomorrow's Women Wirral  

Tomorrow's Women Wirral is a project designed to work with women in the community in order to reduce female imprisonment and offending, and to encourage positive lifestyle changes. They had four great speakers come into their women's centre, who spoke about subjects relating to alcohols impact on families. The speakers included Linda from Alcohol Anonymous Family Groups, who shared her inspiring and uplifting story about her journey to recovery with the help of Tomorrow's Women Wirral.

5. East Ayrshire Council

The East Ayrshire Council had their mobile health living centre (called the CHIP van) out in the communities of East and South Ayrshire, promoting the Alcohol Awareness Week campaign and offering information on living a healthy lifestyle. They had a range of stands which were set up for the duration of the week across East Ayrshire, stocking information on Alcohol. They also linked in with the Kilmarnock Campus of Ayrshire College to promote the campaign and responsible drinking to students.

Thank you to all organisations who got involved in Alcohol Awareness Week! With your continued support, we can challenge stigma, promote an open and honest conversation about alcohol, and increase awareness of alcohol harm throughout the year.