The Alcohol Education Trust - Parent Newsletter

Autumn Term, December 2017, Ed 28

We can’t believe it’s only a few weeks until Christmas! We expect your young people have started to get excited about the big day and also the school holidays! With lots of parties around, it’s an important time of year to have a chat with our children about keeping safe around alcohol.

Family parties around Christmas time

For most of us, Christmas is about surviving visits to and from relatives and enjoying a festive time with friends or our work colleagues. Do remember to watch out if you’re celebrating with a mix of ages – the long and short if it is that we end up being much less careful with the booze and forget that youngsters are around who might quietly ‘spirit off’ a bottle or two or manage to help themselves to alcohol without you noticing as you’re busy entertaining or chatting.

Try to place the alcohol where it’s easy to keep an eye on, or put someone specifically in charge. Talk through what you’re planning during the event with your youngster and other family members and what you all agree is appropriate – which will depend on their age and the occasion. Kids are very good at trying to get their own way, so make sure you’ve got a plan and that you’re all agreed in advance.

Make sure you have plenty of interesting soft drinks for everyone, ice and jugs of water. Have plenty of food too (not salty snacks that make people drink more!) so that everyone lines their stomach and the drink doesn’t rush to their heads!

Another good tip is to have smaller glasses as it slows down how much everyone drinks – as long as you don’t keep topping everyone’s drink up! Wait until guests’ glasses are empty before refilling and then it’s much easier for guests to keep an eye on how many drinks they’ve had!

The office party?

If it’s that office party you’ve got to survive, make sure you’ve planned how to get home and put enough money aside – or if someone’s offered to drive, make sure you spoil them all evening with lots of food and soft drinks! Remember if you’ve been drinking, that your body can only break down one unit of alcohol an hour – so if you’ve had 5 glasses of wine or pints from 8pm onwards, it will be 10 hours before you are safe to drive. Have a look at The morning after website to help you work this out! Although coffee or lots of water will make you feel more alert/better, that alcohol will still be in your system, only time allows your liver to break it down into water and carbon dioxide.

Youngsters home from college and Uni

Even once our children are over the legal drinking age of 18, we don’t stop worrying about them, especially when they’re out very late or partying with old school friends or local mates.

There are some useful tips you can try and encourage them to think about – the first is around drink spiking – A third of students say they’ve had their drink spiked and it’s not always by strangers. Just remind them never to leave their drink, wherever they are, unless it really is a trusted friend – this applies at private parties too.

Make sure someone not partying with them knows where they are and that they charge their mobile before going out. Again, planning about how to get home before going out is so important, especially when taxis are hard to get during the party season. One third of 16-24 year olds say they’ve gone home alone or with someone they don’t know very well because they hadn’t planned how to get home or had become separated from their friends.

Finally get them to eat well before they go out! A bowl of pasta, even cereal or toast will ensure alcohol doesn’t rush into their bloodstream – staying hydrated with water is a great tip too – all clubs and bars have to offer it free now, saving money and helping to avoid a headache the next day!


2017 has been a great year for awards for us. We were highly commended and national runner up for the 'best secondary school resource' in the Education Resources Awards 2017 for the Talk About Alcohol programme and were also shortlisted in the ‘Best charity with an income of less than £1m’ category for the Charity Times Awards 2017 in October. On the 22nd November, we headed up to London for the Children and Young People Now Awards ceremony. This was a really exciting evening and we were shortlisted for the 'early intervention' Award. Sadly we didn't win this time – however, Talk About Alcohol has just been selected by the Early Intervention Foundation for its new book showcasing best practice – which you can view here.

Alcohol Awareness Week 2017

Alcohol Awareness week ran from the 13th-20th November and we were very busy getting involved in events up and down the country! Our CEO Helena took part in an interview on our local radio station Wessex FM; you can read more about this here.

We spoke to over 500 sixth form pupils at Sutton Grammar School and Grey Coat Hospital School in London during the week and gave them lots of helpful tips and advice on how to keep themselves and each other safe around alcohol, not only now but also when they head off to university or college.

Helen, our Coordinator in the South, worked with students at The University of Winchester and Kathryn, our Coordinator in the North attended the National SEND Conference as well as supporting a parents’ evening at MCMA in Manchester. We even held our AGM to coincide with the week and enjoyed some tea and cakes!

Thank you from The AET and Breast Cancer Now!

On the 30th November and 1st December, we held a 50%/50% clothes sale jointly in aid of The Alcohol Education Trust and Breast Cancer Now! Amazingly, £4,000 was taken over the two days and close to £1,500 will be given to each of the charities due to the generosity of those who helped organise, consigned some amazing clothes (including top designers), baked cakes, hosted stalls, donated to the raffle and came and spent their money so generously!

Our next events will be over the weekend of the 24th March 2018 championing all things made grown and created in Dorset. Now in its third year, this involves a wonderful sit down dinner for over 100 featuring Dorset produce, an art exhibition and an open day featuring local specialists. Email or ring on 01300 320665 if you’d like to be involved.

AET resources comprise of and a Teacher Workbook, booklets ‘Alcohol and You’ for 15yrs+ and ‘Talking to Your Kids About Alcohol’ parent and carer guide.
We also offer teacher CPD workshops and parent information talks.

For further information on any of the above please contact
Helena Conibear, Founder, Director
Kathryn Arnott-Gent, Parent and Schools Coordinator - N Region
Helen Dougan, SE Region & SEND Coordinator
Kate Hooper, Schools Coordinator

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Gordon Redley BEd (Cantab)
Christina Benjamin BSc (Hons) PGCE
Patricia Garven Cert Ed.
Kate Larard MSc, HV, RM, SRN
Victoria Mc Donaugh MA (Hons), PGCE
Keith Newton ACA
Alison Winsborough BMus, PGCE

The Alcohol Education Trust, Frampton House, Frampton, Dorset, DT2 9NH

01300 320 869

Registered Charity Number 1138775