Westminster Business School wrote us a great blog piece on Dry January. Read it below... Joanna Simons Alcohol Concern Chief Executive

“Dry January,” says Alcohol Concern’s Chief Executive, Joanna Simons, “is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to take a month off booze, and give our bodies a break”.

It was initiated by Emily Robinson, who gave up drinking for a month in January 2011 after signing up for her first half marathon. Emily started work for Alcohol Concern the following year, and the charity launched Dry January in May 2012.

During the first Dry January – 2013 – more than 4,350 people took part. The next few years saw exponential growth and, this year, 16% of the UK adult population attempted an alcohol-free month. “There’s something about giving yourself a bit of a break,” says Joanna. “And we know that 67% of people who do Dry January with our support are still drinking less six months down the line”.

Save money, sleep better, lose weight

Research done at the Royal Free Hospital demonstrated that:

  • 79% of Dry January participants saved money
  • 62% found they slept better
  • 49% lost weight

Alcohol Concern is not aiming to stop people drinking alcohol forever. “We’re not saying people shouldn’t drink,” says Joanna, “but that we all need the right information, so that we can make better choices. Alcohol Concern has one simple mission, which is to reduce the harm caused by drinking alcohol”.

So, in addition to Dry January, the charity is, for instance, lobbying government for the introduction of a minimum unit price “because we know that will really help a lot of people at risk of serious drinking.”

Dry January at the University of Westminster

Led jointly by Westminster Business School and the Faculty of Media, Arts and Design (MAD), The University of Westminster is supporting Dry January.

As well as publicising the campaign across the University, we have offered students the opportunity to fulfil three voluntary roles. Not only will these roles – filmmaker and editor, social media creative and social entrepreneur – enable them to make a significant contribution to Alcohol Concern, but they will also be able to add a significant achievement to their CVs.

“All I’d say to anyone reading this,” says Joanna, “is go to the App Store or Google Play download the app – Dry January and Beyond – and you’ll get support and motivational messages throughout the month, along with some exciting special offers.”

And good luck, because you’ll feel much better by the end of January.”