AET newsletter June 2020

Building back better

Unbelievably another month has slipped by and since our last newsletter we’ve been busy upgrading our ability to engage digitally and to think beyond Zoom and Microsoft teams long term – invaluable though they have been during lock down in enabling us to deliver remote workshops and parent talks. This is of increasing importance in our ability to deliver support for schools as the requirement to deliver health education including alcohol education becomes statutory from September this year. There has been a slight reprieve given by DfE until Summer 2021 to give schools who are not ready due to COVID 19 a little longer to prepare, but we expect to be very busy as you can imagine.

Our rescheduled conference on how to deliver effective, evidenced and interactive alcohol and drug education, now on the 5th February at The Guildhall will also help. For further information, email  or view

Back to full strength at the AET

We’re thrilled that Kathryn ( looking after all youth/parent provision and training in the North), Kate ( our schools/team coordinator) and Brian ( looking after all youth/parent provision and training in Scotland)  are back at work from the 1st July – Karen ( looking after the South, West and Midlands) has been flying the flag all throughout lockdown together with our CEO , Helena and Julie on the finance and governance side, so it will be lovely to be back to being a full team! It is important that we understand how drinking has changed during lockdown for adolescents with House Party, virtual pub quizzes and drinking challenges, as well as youngsters now meeting up in larger groups socially.

As well as additional on line elements, we have also developed six bespoke fully interactive lessons available for KS3 ( Years 7 – 9) that can only be accessed by being in contact with us directly via  

Drink Spiking feature in the Express Online.

Incidences of drink spiking are rising and following Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You on BBC One The Express on line ran a feature  I May Destroy You: How do you know if your drink has been spiked? What should you do next? Which we were pleased to contribute to. You can read the article here:

If you’d like to know more about how to recognise drink spiking and ways to avoid it happening, then please see:

International survey of 220,000 young people finds Health Behaviours are generally improving

Every four years, the amazing Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC), a WHO collaborative cross-national study, has provided information about the health, well-being, social environment and health behaviour of 11-, 13- and 15-year-old boys and girls for over 30 years. The 2017/2018 survey report presents data from over  220 000 young people in 45 countries and regions in Europe and Canada.

The report reveals trends on a large range of issues such as relations with family, peers, school and  online, mental health, weight and body image, and of course key health behaviours (patterns of eating, physical activity and toothbrushing) and risk behaviours (use of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis, sexual behaviour, fighting and bullying). New items on electronic media communication and cyberbullying are new to this latest report.


In England, there has been a steady decline is most negative health behaviours since 2002 - Incidence of regular smoking and drinking has decreased dramatically from 2002 to 2018, with only very few young people reporting that they had smoked (3%) or drank alcohol (7%) at least 3 times during the last 30 days. Around one quarter of 15 year olds said that they had been drunk twice or more during their life.  One fifth (21%) of 15 year olds said that they had ever tried cannabis, which is a substantial decrease since 2002 (41%).V Overall only 9% of young people reported that they  had ever drunk alcohol to excess (been drunk) 2 or more times, both girls and boys. The prevalence of drinking to excess increased with age, with more than one quarter of 15 year olds reporting that they had been drunk twice or more during their life. We are very pleased to say that the proportion of 15 year old girls who reported that they had been drunk has considerably decreased since 2014 from 32% to 24%.


England no longer the binge drinking capital of Europe


We are also thrilled to say that England is no longer in the top rank of the youth drinking or binge drinking league in Europe, however the same cannot be said for Wales and Scotland. We are so pleased therefore that we have extended our outreach for young people, parents, schools and youth settings in Scotland now, and hopefully Wales will follow. We cannot say for certain that it is the impact of Talk About Alcohol being used in over half of secondary schools in England, that has led such a decline in regular drinking and drunkenness ( led by Denmark, Germany, Scotland and Wales) but as the most widely used programme and with few other differences between the Nations it is highly likely in the light of the impact ratings of the evaluation of our work. To learn more:


Work is beginning on the AET office community space and café

We’re thrilled to be beginning the building of PiP’s café and community space in July and if all goes according to plan we will have a new office and training space as well as a café and loos in the heart of The Great Field on Poundbury in time for Easter 2021. It is such a relief to have a start date at last and we will have pictures of progress next time we hope!   



Getting back to what we do best!

We cannot wait to resume face to face workshops, health days, parent talks, sixth form presentations and ensuring that young people have the tools, information, resilience and skills needed to make safer decisions around alcohol. In the meantime we are doing our best remotely and remain engaged with schools, youth and sports clubs, children's homes, PRU's and special schools on a daily basis. We thank you for your support and interest in our work. With best wishes from us all at the AET

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