Communities Together is a three year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund in Fishguard and Goodwick. Communities Together is encouraging local people to have honest conversations about the good and bad sides of alcohol use in their neighbourhoods, and to develop their solutions to any problems. It certainly does not aim to discourage drinking altogether; rather to promote a healthy relationship with alcohol, for individuals and for the community as a whole.

Local people gave the project three priorities to work on:

  1. Raising awareness : People in Fishguard and Goodwick understand more about alcohol, and they know where to go for advice on managing their drinking, as part of maintaining their health and well-being.
  2. Bringing people together : Loneliness and isolation are reduced, especially amongst older people, and people have more opportunities to socialise, learn and work together.
  3. Parents are acting responsibly about alcohol and their children.

To that end we have engaged with citizens in all sorts of ways – for example, through social actvities such as running tea dances, youth music events and intergenerational lunches, as well as more directly focussed alcohol specific work, such as facilitating a 6th form conference around Alcohol and the Community and sponsoring a piece of community theatre, ‘It’s the Drink Talking’.

Communities Together is not based on any idea that Fishguard and Goodwick are places with extra-ordinary alcohol issues. They’re typical Welsh communities with typical levels of many problems, and also a lot to give in terms of community spirit and the will to make things better. What Fishguard and Goodwick achieve in these three years could lead the way for other towns in Wales and across the UK to become healthier places to live.