Making our communities safer

Protecting young people from alcohol use

Sandwell Council, Hastings Borough Council

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Sandwell Council, Hastings Borough Council

Sandwell Council, Hastings Borough Council

The Hastings Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) launched in July 2017. It is led by Hastings Borough Council in partnership with a number of public and private sector organisations. It aims to reduce the sales of alcohol to young people, advise them on the dangers of drinking, provide alcohol-free activities through youth services and local charities and contribute to reducing youth related disorder. The CAP recently won a national innovation award by commissioning research into young people’s drinking behaviours which dispelled many local myths about the effects of alcohol. The local school has student ‘CAP ambassadors’ that are visiting local primary schools to develop peer lead information sessions to spread the word about the risks associated with underage drinking and how to deal with family alcohol consumption issues.

Sandwell Council have received a national recognition for their Blue Light Project, which brings together a range of organisations to manage treatment resistant drinkers. It’s also saved estimated costs to emergency services by around £150,000. Eleven partner organisations now meet regularly to co-ordinate support for those who won’t access treatment but place a disproportionate demand on emergency services. The project also trains specialist and non-alcohol specialist staff in working with change-resistant drinkers. The first year of the scheme engaged nine people for a full year. Seven received sustained treatment or some level of support, significantly reducing the costs to local emergency services of manging them from an estimated £244,154 to £92,730. NHS England has assessed the project as meeting Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention productivity gains.