Young people and alcohol misuse

AN alcohol awareness programme dedicated to supporting young people in resisting the peer pressure of underage drinking is taking place in schools.

The Smashed Tour is a theatre-based initiative that challenges students about the dangers of underage drinking in a “creative, engaging and impactful way”.

Students experience a live theatre production presented by professional actors, which is accompanied by interactive workshops, evaluation and teaching resources for schools.

The interactive programme, which will be delivered to 10,000 students this year, aims to help young people make the right choices around alcohol.

It is hoped that the performances will equip them with the information, awareness and confidence to make responsible choices.

Led by Collingwood Learning and sponsored by Diageo NI, it has already reached around 60,000 young people across the north since it was first launched in 2016.

It is now returning to in-person events at numerous schools following the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to it moving to virtual sessions.

Claire Hutchinson from Diageo NI said the programme is “supporting young people in making responsible choices”.

“Reaching and influencing 60,000 young people in Northern Ireland to make positive and responsible choices on alcohol, since the programme first began five years ago, is a very significant and important milestone for everyone involved in the project,” she said.

“The feedback from schools and pupils to the programme has been overwhelmingly positive and we are confident that it is supporting young people in making responsible choices in communities throughout Northern Ireland.

“While it was important to ensure that we delivered the programme virtually during COVID, we are pleased that it can once again be delivered in-person.”

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