Tackling alcohol misuse in young

Airedale Academy wins national award for work tackling underage drinking
Airedale Academy wins national award for work tackling underage drinking

A Castleford school has received a national award for its work tackling underage drinking.

The Community Alcohol Partnerships awards for excellence in education has been presented Airedale Academy, for its work educating its pupils on alcohol misuse.

As a CAPs partner, Airedale sets its students the challenge of developing and creating a piece of theatre as part of their coursework, and each year the students have chosen themes linking to alcohol misuse. They research the subject with the help of CAP partners, including Spectrum Community Health CIC, the Neighbourhood Policing Team and by talking to residents of a local rehab facility. In addition, the school organises a huge range of events and activities relating to alcohol misuse.

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 organisation’s recent annual 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.

Airedale Academy’s award was presented by Josh Connolly, ambassador for the National Association of Children of Alcoholics.

Josh said: “Alcohol education is an integral part of CAP and it is fantastic to see the interactive approach that the Airedale Academy takes. Weekly drinking levels for 13,14 and 15 year olds show a huge reduction, from 31.45 per cent in 2016, to 7.31 per cent in 2018. And its impact is far-reaching: it is part of Northern Ambition Academies Trust so a lot of its work feeds across to three other local schools, where many younger siblings are educated. Many congratulations to Airedale Academy.”

Andy Simms, co-ordinator of the Wakefield Central and Castleford CAPs, which work closely with Airedale Academy, said: “This award reflects the hard work the academy has done. Their commitment to making positive changes to young people’s lives shines through in everything they do.”