It seems more appropriate to wish everyone a safe New Year and to reflect our thanks to the front line workers who are tirelessly supporting us in every way through this latest frightening wave of the epidemic. We include school staff of course who are juggling online delivery while looking after the children of key workers and vulnerable children. So many we speak with are exhausted, facing staff shortages as well as bigger workloads.
We are also very aware of the impact on the mental health of young people while out of school and education, according to CAMHS. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the likelihood of children and young people experiencing traumatic life events as more families are plunged into poverty, domestic abuse rises and more children suffer bereavements. YouGov conducted a poll of 4,000 children and young people for Barnardo's report Generation Lockdown, more than two-fifths of respondents (41%) said they were more lonely as a result of lockdown, 38% were more worried, 37% felt more sad, 34% said they were more stressed and one-third (33%) reported suffering from a lack of sleep. The inability of the vital network of sports, youth and activity clubs to operate, through which, in addition to schools, preventative health education is delivered, further reduces access to safe and developmental spaces for young people.
What have we achieved over the last year? AET Impact Report
We remain resilient, however, as we have adapted to new ways of supporting young people across England and Scotland in a variety of settings, so we are very proud to release our Impact Report for 2020. We have extended our reach into new geographical areas as well as supporting more vulnerable young people in 2020 than ever before. We have also begun to extend our remit to support young adults up to the age of 25, effectively doubling the number of people we can help stay safe around alcohol nationally. We have also continued to launch new and enhanced resources during the year, including materials for remote delivery and two detailed filmed case studies covering consent and violence for age 16 and over. You can access the full impact report by clicking on the image below.
A new home at last!
On Friday 15th January the keys to our new office, community space and café, Pavilion in the Park (PiP) were handed over by CG Fry ready for fit out and we plan to open late March/ early April. This is a fantastic achievement managed in very difficult times and we thank all those who have made it possible. PiP is very eco-friendly with solar power, air source heating and a reclaimed wood interior. As well as providing an office for the AET, visitors will be able to borrow a book, buy a plant or art by under 25’s or lounge inside or on the veranda while enjoying refreshments overlooking the Great Field while supporting the AET charity. There will be an outside ping pong table as well as raised beds and a bird feeding area, with the main adventure play area, being built by The Duchy of Cornwall opening Summer 2021.
Helena Conibear, CEO of The Alcohol Education Trust commented, “For the last ten years, The AET has operated out of a garden garage in Frampton so to have a bespoke office, community facing café and meeting space in such a beautiful setting that will attract old and young alike is fantastic for everyone. We plan to open in late March or early April, depending on the lockdown and COVID.”
Richard Biggs, Mayor of Dorchester said, “We are delighted that Pavilion in the Park is ready and congratulate the Alcohol Education Trust on their massive achievement. Having AET on site at The Great Field means we have a partner to work with to provide the? café, play and toilet facilities to park users. We look forward to building our relationship over the years.”
Les FryDorset Councillor and Dorchester Town Councillor commented, “This is a really significant day for Dorchester and the development of the Great Field, the handover of the building to the AET marks a milestone in the progress of the field for community use. This building will become an important asset to the community in many ways. I very much look forward to the opening of the building in the near future.”
Jason Bowerman stated,“The Duchy of Cornwall is delighted to see the new headquarters of the AET, with associated café, nearing completion. The Pavilion in the Park (PiP), is the result of a major planning and fund-raising exercise by the Trust. Construction has been undertaken during a time of quite unforeseeable restrictions and it is a credit to both the Trustees and CG Fry and Son, that such a high quality and valuable resource has been delivered. PiP’s will complement the major works undertaken by the Duchy on the Great Field over recent years, providing a wonderfully diverse area for both visitors and residents of Dorchester. The Duchy is pleased to have been able to support the project and looks forward to welcoming the AET to their new home in the Spring”.
Philip Fry Managing Director of CG Fry commented, “We have very much enjoyed working on this project with Helena and the team. We have carried the building and design work on this project on a no profit basis, as we felt that it would provide a valuable asset for the Community as well as supporting a Charity doing great work within the community. It is good to see how well the finished building looks in the Great Field.”
Exciting competition for 15-19 year olds!
We are challenging 15-19 year olds to produce a poster or film on alcohol awareness topics. This is a perfect activity to keep young people busy during lockdown and ideal for a homework task! There will be a prize of £150 for the best entry in each category and four runner-up prizes of £50! Please see https://alcoholeducationtrust.org/competition/ for full details. Please share with any 15-19 year olds who might like to be involved! Deadline 31st March 2021. Huge thanks to People's Postcode Lottery for their funding supporting this.
Our work with Cumbria Police
Kathryn is delighted that we are able to continue the partnership work with Cumbria Constabulary, thanks to funding we have received from Cumbria Constabulary. Our partnership began at the beginning of last year, where we delivered several rounds of training covering the whole of Cumbria, and provided our Talk about Alcohol resources.
Kathryn is so pleased to be back delivering training this month for new staff, albeit on a virtual platform, for the newly formed Child Centred Policing Teams. These teams have been launched across the force to increase focus on the early identification of children who need support and intervention with a view to improving their lives and diverting them away from the criminal justice system. Our training will compliment our Talk About Alcohol Activity box and Teacher Workbook, with an emphasis on delivering virtual sessions to young people, by utilising our www.talkaboutalcohol.com website.
We received this lovely testimonial from Cumbria Police:
"Many of my team have used the packs in Carlisle and again in Workington. They are a fantastic guide with some simple but very effective classes that help the young people to engage in the scenarios. The visual impact of some exercises such as how many units games is astonishing, really opening the eyes of the young people to how much they are drinking and the longer term effects of this. I have pushed the training to be used by my team and will continue to do so, that experience seeing young people engaged and wanting to learn cannot be understated."
Business as usual
As always, we are here to help support schools and youth organisations in delivering engaging and enjoyable alcohol education lessons whether these are face to face or online as they are at present.
We are able to offer the following resources free of charge:
Activity Box including laminated activity cards and the BAFTA-winning ‘Just a Few Drinks’ films. Thanks to grant funding, this is free of charge for those working with children who are looked after or have additional learning needs.
Six fully planned lessons including accompanying PowerPoints. These lessons help ensure high-quality, effective alcohol education lessons with minimal planning requirements. Please email email@example.com to access.
www.talkaboutalcohol.com is a pupil-facing online learning zone including fun and engaging activities and games such as an online nightclub. The site allows pupils to learn to make safe choices around alcohol in a very pupil-friendly way.