Students from across Sussex are set for a hard-hitting and interactive lesson on the risks associated with underage drinking.
Alcohol education and awareness programme, ‘Smashed’, will reach a total of 45,000 students from all over the UK this year.
From Monday, February 25 to Friday, March 1, ‘Smashed’ will visit three secondary schools in East Sussex where hundreds of students will watch an award-winning international programme from Collingwood Learning.
The students from Cummor House Sussex in Haywards Heath, Ark William Parker in Hastings and Hove Park, will then take part in an interactive workshop, where the actors can answer any questions the audience may have.
‘Smashed’, sponsored by Diageo, was developed in consultation with young people and has been designed to engage with pupils in a different way to typical school lessons.
It combines the use of drama with interactive workshops to help young people understand the facts, causes, and consequences of alcohol misuse and the risks of underage drinking.
Many countries such as the USA, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Indonesia and Nigeria have welcomed ‘Smashed’ into schools and the programme is especially popular with MP’s over Sussex.
MP for Hastings, Peter Kyle, said: “Educating our school pupils on issues such as peer pressure and what responsible drinking entails is essential for their future health and wellbeing, and I am glad to see these issues being tackled head-on in schools in Hove.”
MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton, added: ”I’ve been invovled in considerable work for campaigns addressing alcohol misuse, and Smashed is certainly one of the more original approaches I’ve encountered.
“Children are constantly given ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s from all angles, but using interactive performance to communicate the potential dangers of underage drinking and bring the students’ own thoughts into the conversation is both innovative and effective.”
The team from Collingwood revealed that 95 per cent of students said they understood more about the dangers of underage drinking than they did before the workshop.
Chris Simes, from Collingwood Learning, said: “The Smashed team are thrilled to be travelling the length and breadth of the UK for another year as we tackle the culture of underage drinking. By combining powerful emotive theatre with engaging interactive workshops, our creative educational performances are making a difference nationwide.
“With Diageo’s support, we are making sure more of the next generation have the confidence and knowledge they need to stand up to peer pressures and understand the risks of alcohol misuse.”