Wiltshire aims to tackle under-age drinking
By wp_alistair | Monday, July 09, 2012, 11:18
A groundbreaking campaign to get young people animated about the issues of under aged drinking has been launched in Salisbury this week.
Alcohazard Project Team in Wiltshire tackling under-age drinking
Called Alcohazard! the campaign uses a series of animated films with 'voice overs' from local young people to highlight the dangers of alcohol misuse.
The animations, created by local young people working with professional animators, will be made available to schools and community organisations across Wiltshire, highlighted on social network sites and posted on the Sparksite website (www.sparksite.co.uk).
A wide range of Wiltshire agencies have joined forces to make the campaign possible: NHS Wiltshire, Salisbury Area Board, Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership, the Youth Service, Wiltshire Assembly and Wiltshire College.
Director of public health and public protection, Maggie Rae, said: "We wanted to create a campaign that would engage and involve young people.
"The result is some very powerful works of animation created by students from Wiltshire College using the real life experiences young people have had with alcohol.
"We hope the animations give young people the information they need to be aware of the health and social risks of drinking too much alcohol."
During 2009/10 there were 248 alcohol/drug related admissions to hospital in Wiltshire for people aged 17 and under.
As well as the serious health concerns of under aged drinking, it has also been linked to anti-social behaviour and unintentional injuries among both under 18s and young adults.
Although some surveys show that under aged drinking is decreasing the young people who are drinking are drinking more frequently and in larger quantities than before.
Salisbury Area Board helped to make this campaign happen after raising the issue of under aged drinking and anti social behaviour.
Chairman, Richard Clewer, said: "We care passionately about the welfare of our young people and hope this campaign highlights the dangers of drinking too much alcohol and the impact it has on family, friends and the wider community.
"We are not trying to preach to young people, we want to equip them with more information about the realities of drinking in excess.
"The area board is delighted such an innovative project is being launched in Salisbury and we hope as many young people as possible get to see these brilliant works of animation."
The project was coordinated by Creative Wiltshire involving young people from Wiltshire College and Salisbury Arts Centre working with creative professionals.
They worked with factual statements about the effects of alcohol and interviews with young people on how their behaviour was affected by alcohol.
The result has been 23 films each about 30 seconds in length in a format for easy distribution on social networks used by young people such as Sparksite, Twitter, You Tube and Facebook.
Each film includes local and national contact details for both young people and adults requiring further support.
A DVD containing all videos will be distributed across static media screens in locations such as health and council offices. It can also be made available to schools and community organisations working with young people.
Anyone who would like to find out more about the Alcohazard! project can contact the public health team's manager for children and young people's substance misuse, Lauraine Jones on 01225 775759 or email@example.com