The first relates to helping parents delay the age at which children first drink.
Drinkaware said: “In 2013, we will support parents to restrict their child’s use of alcohol, particularly before the age of 16, and help parents understand that they can be positive role models, consistent with evidence that children of parents who drink above the daily unit guidelines are more likely to drink at a younger age.
Drinkaware highlighted that the average age of a child’s first drink continues to rise. It increased from 13.1 year to 13.4 year between 2011 and 2012. The average age for a first unsupervised drink increased from 14.1 to 14.7 years.The charity said that after seeing its Your Kids and Alcohol campaign, 44% of parents said they had a conversation with their child about alcohol and felt it was successful.
Drinking habits of adults
The second priority is to change the daily drinking habits of adults. Drinkaware said awareness of unit guidelines among adults has increased from 85% in 2011 to 95% in 2012.
The charity said: “We need to encourage adults who drink too much to accept the fact that their health is at risk. We will continue to help people understand units and support those who need help cutting down with practical tools and resources.”
Challenge the attitude of young adults to get drunk
Drinkaware said it wanted to challenge the attitude of young adults to getting drunk, and this is the final year of its five-year Why Let Good Times Go Bad? campaign. The group pointed out that awareness of the campaign increased by 12 percentage points to 39% in 2012.
“We will focus on engaging young adults through social media and on direct intervention in targeted local areas to influence behaviour change,” it said.
Finally, Drinkaware said it wanted to form new partnerships to promote its work. Action includes the Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership, which is to pilot in the autumn, which will encourage adults in Glasgow to try a lower ABV version of their preferred drink, along with Community Alcohol Partnerships.
Elaine Hindal, chief executive of Drinkaware, reflected on the group’s progress last year in the forward to its Annual Review.
“More people are engaging with us than ever before. Four million people visited the Drinkaware website in 2012 and frontline public services used 1 million factsheets, unit and calorie wheels and unit measure cups. Drinkaware has become an essential reference for the facts about alcohol, and we hope to become an important destination for partner organisations too.”
An independent review into Drinkaware, published in April, called for “substantial changes” to how it operates, and said it has not yet made a compelling case for continued funding from the trade. The report, from consultancy 23red on behalf of Drinkaware’s Independent Review Panel, says that while some aspects of its work are “done well, others are poorly done or are lacking entirely”.