Hastings council’s safety manager recognised for work tackling underage drinking

John Whittington receiving his award. Photo by Matt Cetti-Roberts. SUS-181210-105137001
John Whittington receiving his award. Photo by Matt Cetti-Roberts. SUS-181210-105137001

Hastings Borough Council’s community safety manager has received the Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) award for his work tackling underage drinking.

John Whittington received the award from CAP chairman Derek Lewis at the annual CAP celebration event which this year took place at the Welsh Assembly.

Derek Lewis said: “The Hastings Ore CAP has taken an innovative, multi-agency approach to reducing underage drinking and anti-social behaviour, including working closely with local schools, inviting students to its meetings and encouraging take up of the Royal Society of Public Health Young Health Champions scheme.

“Of particular note is its work with East Sussex Public Health, which commissioned a social marketing intervention called Think Again Now which aimed to tackle parental supply of alcohol. “Pre and post evaluations showed it successfully increased parents’ knowledge of the facts relating to alcohol harm and debunked many myths about supplying alcohol to children. John has been the driving force behind the CAP’s success in Hastings, Ore, and I am delighted to present him with this award.”

Councillor Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for the environment and safety, said: “This is an important initiative for our town, and I am delighted that the Hastings Ore CAP has been recognised for their work.”

CAPs are made up of partnerships between retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to empower communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents.

Its 2018 annual report, launched at the event, shows how this innovative partnership approach has positive impacts on underage drinking, anti-social behaviour, litter, residents’ feelings of safety and underage/proxy alcohol purchase around the UK.

Derek Lewis added: “Regular and/or excessive drinking can be seriously damaging to their health and development while increasing the risk of excessive consumption in later life. CAPs offer an evidence based, proportionate and locally tailored response to underage alcohol problems.”

Visit www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk.

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