Education is key to raising awareness about the impact of underage alcohol consumption on health and society and the laws relating to young people and alcohol.
CAP aims to educate and inform three target groups: retailers/licensees, young people and adults.
All young people should receive education about alcohol in school via the PSHE curriculum. However this is often a neglected subject and some youngsters, especially those who are excluded from school, miss out on alcohol education altogether. CAP encourages greater emphasis on alcohol education in schools and other settings like youth clubs.
We work with schools in CAP areas to support them to follow an age-appropriate alcohol education programme - preferably one that has been evaluated with proven results such as the Alcohol Education Trust's ‘Talk about Alcohol’ programme in secondary schools.
We encourage interactive methods of teaching including peer mentoring, theatre in education and Dragon's Den-type competitions to encourage pupils to present their own creative solutions, while school action days involve a range of agencies and visiting speakers with special expertise or knowledge.
CAPs across the UK also deliver an innovative Young Health Champions course, a Level 2 qualification for young people between the ages of 12-25, giving them the skills and knowledge to act as peer mentors and deliver positive health messages to other young people.
CAPs increasingly work with young people aged 18-24, primarily signposting them to services that can help. This is a time when they are making important decisions about their education and their future and excessive alcohol consumption can have negative consequences which can blight young lives. We want to ensure they are equipped to make the right decisions about a range of issues, including drugs and anti-social and criminal behaviour. Ours is a long term, preventative approach and an important local initiative in the current climate as part of other wider approaches to tackle knife crime, gang culture and county lines.
CAPs also reach out to parents who are the most common supply route of alcohol for children, initiating campaigns to increase parental responsibility and encouraging schools to integrate parental engagement and education in their action plans. They highlight the importance of not giving children alcohol and that proxy purchase (buying alcohol for or on behalf of an under 18) is an offence.
Retailers and sometimes find it difficult to know when someone is under 18. We provide information and training to off- and on-licensed premises in CAP areas to help avoid underage sales. Premises are encouraged to use the Challenge 25 scheme to encourage young people to carry acceptable ID such as PASS cards. Mentoring by larger RASG supermarkets in the area enables smaller independent retailers and licensees to benefit from their established in-house training regimes.