AET newsletter

January 2020

Happy New Year and we hope you had a lovely Christmas break! In our first general newsletter of the year, we update you on the progress of our new office, café and community space (PiPs) and share latest research news. You can also find out about our exciting conference to be held in The Guild Hall, London later in the year and about our work across new areas thanks to Tesco funding.

Drug and Alcohol Education Conference 2020 - Why it matters and how to do it well

We are delighted to be co-hosting the third National Drug and Alcohol Education Conference 2020 in partnership with the DSM Foundation and The City of London Corporation on June 19th. Youth professionals and teachers will hear from leading experts on the latest research on alcohol and drugs prevention, attend a choice of workshops on evidence-based programmes, and receive planning & evaluation advice for effective health education.

Our aim is to ensure that all professionals working with young people are equipped with the most up to date facts and figures, an understanding of best practice and the evidence base, and resources and tools to deliver engaging and effective drugs and alcohol education.

For schools, in particular this will help ensure teachers are fully confident, prepared and resourced to teach Health Education from September 2020 when it becomes mandatory.
A range of expert speakers will cover the current issues, developments and ideas in the field. The hands-on workshops will demonstrate how best to support young people in building their knowledge, resilience and life skills that will help them make safer choices. Although the focus is on alcohol and drugs, the interactive workshops will showcase skills, games and activities that are applicable to all PSHE and Health Education.

The conference is amazing value with a special early bird rate of just £49 for schools and charities including presentations, lunch and attendance of two workshops and £79 for others. For further information, email or visit

2019 Impact Report

Our latest Impact Report is now ready and you can take a look via

The report highlights the work we have done during 2019, our 10th Anniversary year, with updates from our regional staff, our impact and geographical reach. The number of schools and organisations we have supported has risen by 48% year on year, with particular increases in Scotland, the South West and Midlands. As our financial report shows, our work continues to ensure that funds raised benefit as many children as possible, especially those most at risk of alcohol related harm including looked after children, children with additional learning needs and those living in local alcohol action areas or areas of high deprivation. If you would like to be involved with us in any way, please email


We are always keen to hear your feedback on our training sessions, parent talks, websites and resources. Below are a selection of recent comments we have received:

' Kathryn delivered training in our Local Authority to teaching staff, Early Hep Team and YMCA Youth Staff. The training and resources were great quality , the session was interactive and role modelled the delivery of the content in the resource packs. Feedback was positive from all who attended and I am aware that the resources have been used since in one to one, group work, classrooms and with families.'- McNay Street Children's Centre, Darlington

' I think one of the key strengths of the AET's approach is that it is realistic and does not patronise parents or students. The information is delivered in an unbiased way that is clear and succinct.” – Dorchester Thomas Hardye School

'The [activity box] not only provides secondary schools with all they need to teach high quality Alcohol Education but the additional guidance materials provided supports policy development and the engagement of parents.' – North Tyneside

'Really found the session useful and it will have impact on the lessons delivered.' – Redcar and Cleveland training

'Fantastic to get a comprehensive set of resources.' - Moray Schools

'A great comprehensive resource to use when discussing alcohol awareness with young people.' – South Somerset School Nursing Team

'My confidence in discussing alcohol has increased- I’m more aware of the importance of initiating conversation' – South Devon College

You can find further testimonials via . Please do let us know if you have any comments or feedback about our training, websites or resources!

Latest on PiP's - our new office, community space and cafe

As you know, we plan to have a new office, community space and revenue-generating PiP’s café on the Great Field, Poundbury. This space will not only give us a proper home at last, but enable us to deliver training and diversionary activities on site as well as generating valuable income for our work, helping to ensure our sustainability.

We have raised enough funds to begin building thanks to the most amazing local and national support and work will begin in April 2020.

Due to complications with the foundations and the need for a sprinkler system, we still have some money to raise (£7,500) for the fit out and furnishing of the space. If you are able to help in any way we would love to hear from you, whether with materials, skills, volunteering time or with a fund raising idea.

We are hoping to be in our new home in August/September and will keep you regularly posted.

New PowerPoints ready to trial

As Health Education becomes compulsory for alcohol education this September, we have been busy working on a set of 6 PowerPoints which will offer ready-made, engaging and effective lessons on alcohol awareness. This new resource is perfect for teachers who are asked to deliver PSHE but may have had little training or time in which to plan. These are currently being piloted by a number of schools and will be ready for all very soon so watch this space!

Tesco funding for work across Cumbria, Lancashire and East Midlands

As part of Tesco's 100th birthday celebrations, we were delighted to be selected by the Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grant scheme in two regions for 2020.

Tesco customers across Cumbria, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Derbyshire voted for one of three charities of their choice between October and December last year and as a result of this we will shortly be awarded a share of a wonderful sum of money.

The funds we receive will be used to support children and young people in schools, special schools, pupil referral units and youth/sports clubs throughout these regions with interactive resources and training that build resilience and promote safer life choices around alcohol. We will be writing to all schools in these regions to outline the wonderful support we are able offer.

Bookings being taken now!
If you work in these regions and would like to take advantage of our support either with resources or training sessions, please contact:
Cumbria and Lancashire:
East Midlands:
We are looking forward to working with and supporting schools and clubs in these areas!

Funding news

We are so grateful for an extremely generous grant from The Garfield Weston Foundation. The Foundation have supported our core work almost since we first started and it has been essential for our sustainability. This money will be used to support our core work ensuring that young people learn to stay safe around alcohol and so reduce all negative risk taking.

The Foundation are also contributing towards the building of our new office, community and training space and revenue generating café, PiP’s, on the Great Field, Poundbury.

Research news

Don’t mix - Drinking while smoking cannabis increases risk taking

New research has found that simultaneous use of alcohol and marijuana is riskier than using either substance alone, because their effects can interact and cause excessive depression of the central nervous system. This can result in more negative consequences such as driving under the influence, accidents, cognitive impairment, and symptoms of substance use disorders, as well as alterations in mood and well-being. Alcohol and cannabis taken together, increases the depressant effects of both. Judgement, reaction time and coordination are affected, making it unsafe to drive.

Cannabis affects the part of the brain stem that controls basic functions, such as nausea and vomiting, and this can make the alcohol-cannabis mix particularly dangerous—even fatal as it can suppress the body’s natural response to vomit after drinking too much. This could mean an increased risk of alcohol poisoning. When it comes to driving, all it takes is 40 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (a blood alcohol content of 0.04) and a single joint to feel the effects equivalent to a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 (Robbe, 1998), i.e. the legal limit for driving.

The study involved 1400 students who had used both alcohol and marijuana (alone and/or together) in the past year, and who completed an online survey assessing their own substance use and negative consequences, perceptions of simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use among peers and close friends, and ease of access to marijuana. Overall, three-fourths of participants reported having used alcohol and marijuana simultaneously in the past year, on average twice per month.

Previous research has shown that students' perceptions of substance use among their peers (which may differ from their peers' actual use) have a strong influence on their own behaviours. Consistent with this, the new study found that students who perceived high rates of simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use among their peers (and particularly among their close friends) were more likely to engage in frequent simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use themselves ─and were also more likely to experience negative consequences.

Source: Research Society on Alcoholism

Facebook Twitter