Drinkaware unveils five-year strategy as it focuses on older drinkers

By Fred A'Court

- Last updated on GMT

Shifting focus: alcohol education charity Drinkaware looks at older drinkers
Shifting focus: alcohol education charity Drinkaware looks at older drinkers

Related tags: Drinking culture

A significant shift in drinking habits and falling sales have led the alcohol education charity Drinkaware to shift its focus from young to older drinkers. 

The charity has announced three goals as part of its five-year strategy: to reduce alcohol consumption – both at home and on a night out – by older drinkers; increase the amount of information and advice on drink-related matters; and to engage with more people.

While underage drinking by 11 to 15-year-olds is at a 10-year low, evidence from the Health Survey for England (2016) suggests that 33% of men and 18% of women aged 40-60, are drinking above low-risk guidelines.

Furthermore, almost a third of this age group are considered inactive while almost three quarters are overweight.

Health and wellbeing

Drinkaware chief executive Elaine Hindal said the charity’s new strategy reflected this significant shift in drinking culture and habits over the past five years.

She said: “People are seeking information and advice in new ways and are increasingly looking for personalised help, support and advice about alcohol and its relationship to their health and wellbeing.”

Campaigns focusing on older drinkers are already under way with the Have a little less, feel a lot better​ campaign targeting men aged 45-65 who drink frequently, primarily at home, and who are disproportionately at risk of alcohol-related health problems.

The You wouldn’t sober, you shouldn’t drunk​ campaign and the Drinkaware Crews operate in 13 areas and is set to expand between now and 2022. These initiatives target people who are more likely to be binge drinking and the charity says it will continue supporting people who are using alcohol to cope with stress and anxiety.

The You wouldn’t sober, you shouldn’t drunk​ campaign provides advice on drink-related sexual harassment while Drinkaware Crews are specially trained staff who work in bars and clubs to reduce drunken antisocial behaviour among 18 to 24-year-olds and keep them safe.

Providing support

Working in pairs, the club hosts will have a presence in the venue throughout the night, talking to customers at the start of the evening when a queue is forming, supporting customers who are vulnerable, maybe because of alcohol, and ensuring guests leave safely after the venue has closed.

Drinkaware has also launched an e-learning course for operators, to help employees identify and support customers at risk from alcohol harm and is working to extend the reach of its website, app and other resources to help even more people across the UK make better choices about their drinking and its effects.

Related topics: Health & safety

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