A NEW alcohol education programme has been piloted at a borough high school.
Year 8 pupils at Killingworth’s George Stephenson High School have been trialling ‘Booze Factor’, which aims to education young people and raise awareness of alcohol use and abuse.
The programme involves activities which aim to initiate conversation and discussions around alcohol, as well as explore young people’s attitudes, beliefs and understanding about drinking.
It has been written and designed by the Phoenix Detached Youth Project (PDYP) and developed by North Tyneside Council.
North Tyneside’s director of public health, Marietta Evans, said: “We are committed to tackling the risks related to alcohol amongst young people and other members of the community, in North Tyneside.
“I therefore welcome such a useful and positive resource.
“The pack approaches a difficult topic in a fun, interactive way, which I am confident young people will respond to well.”
Mike Burgess, PDYP manager, said: “Through the detached youth work we are meeting a lot of young people who are drinking and taking risks.
“We therefore wanted to develop a piece of work to explore the issue.
“By involving young people we have created positive solutions and alternative opportunities.”
Following the pilot, all North Tyneside high schools will receive the ‘Booze Factor’ resources from September.
Ian Wilkinson, George Stephenson High School headteacher, said: “It is important for our young people to learn from an early stage about the risks associated with alcohol use and misuse.
“It’s also great that our students have been involved in a pilot project like this and they will be very pleased to know it is now being rolled out across other schools.”
One of the tasks within the ‘Booze Factor’ is the ‘More than just a hangover’ task.
Students are given different coloured cards, featuring health and social effects of alcohol, to put on a silhouette of a body. The aim is to make them aware of the immediate, short term and long term effects of alcohol on the different parts of the body.
The ‘Booze Factor’ pilot complements a summer-long campaign of co-ordinated work by the council, Northumbria Police and voluntary sector youth organisations, who have come together to help reduce young drinking, which can sometimes be the cause of anti-social behaviour.
The partners have put together a summer-long programme of regular and fun activities for young people while Northumbria Police will be cracking down on retailers who sell alcohol to children, and continue their work to pick up children and young people who appear to be involved in kerbside drinking or anti-social behaviour.