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Families matter

Alcohol Awareness Week 2017 is encouraging people to start a conversation around harmful drinking and the effect it has on families.

Warrington Borough Council’s public health team and partners will be working to help break the cycle of silence and stigma that is often experienced by families as part of Alcohol Awareness Week, which takes place from 13 – 19 November.

To keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level, men and women should not regularly exceed 14 units of alcohol per week. This is equivalent to 14 single measurements of spirit (25ml, 40% ABV), six glasses of wine (175ml, 13% ABV) or six pints of ordinary strength beer/lager/cider (568ml, 4% ABV). If you are pregnant you should avoid drinking alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.

During Alcohol Awareness Week, the council’s public health team and partners will be delivering a range of activities and events to encourage people to have an honest conversation about alcohol and its impact on individuals, families and communities.

This coincides with the launch of a new campaign – ‘Drink Less, Enjoy More’ – which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of excess drinking and the laws around serving people who are clearly drunk.

Throughout the week the Change, Grow, Live team (CGL) – commissioned by the council to provide drug and alcohol services in the community – will be delivering a range of events and activities across the borough.

On Monday 13 November they will be providing family support around alcohol misuse to families and friends visiting prisoners at HM Thorn Cross prison and on Thursday 16 November there will be an alcohol quiz for prisoners and prison staff and an opportunity to try out the smoothie bike.

CGL will then be hosting a SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) meeting with service users to discuss alcohol awareness, reduction and abstinence on Tuesday 14 November. Following this, on Wednesday 15 November, they will have a ‘mocktail bar’ open at the Recovery Hub, Bold Street for service users to learn more about safer drinking and different alternatives.

CGL and Footsteps – a family support group for people affected by another’s drug and alcohol use – will be at Warrington Hospital on Wednesday 15 November, 10am – 12noon and Warrington Bus Interchange on Friday 17 November, 10am – 3pm, to offer advice and support on alcohol related issues. Residents are also invited to attend a ‘Family Matters’ open day at the Recovery Hub, Bold Street, 12noon – 5pm, where there will be free food and refreshments, live music, a fire engine and lots more fun activities for all the family to enjoy.

The final event will be held on Saturday 18 November when CGL will be in Stockton Heath village, engaging with people to discuss alcohol and the night time economy, which will take place outside the Mulberry Tree Inn.

The council’s youth service will also be delivering a range of activities and sessions across a number of venues. The mobile youth bus will be out and about where young people can take part in a ‘mocktail’ making workshop, alcohol bingo, quizzes, games and exploring risk scenarios.

Cllr Pat Wright, executive board member for statutory health and adult social care, said: “The aim of Alcohol Awareness Week is to get people thinking about alcohol – how it affects us as individuals, families, communities and society as a whole. It’s really important to know how much alcohol you are drinking and where you can go to get support if you feel you need it.

“There’s so much going on during Alcohol Awareness Week to engage people of all ages on this important issue. It’s a great opportunity to promote the advice and support that’s available from local services in Warrington and I encourage residents to look out for these events and take advantage of the advice on offer.”

For more information about Alcohol Awareness Week, visit: alcoholconcern.org.uk/alcohol-awareness-week

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