Leading alcohol education charity Drinkaware has launched a new scheme in Bolton to help keep young people safe and enjoy their night out.

In partnership with Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Drinkaware has introduced specially trained staff known as Drinkaware Crew at the Level nightclub in Mawdsley Street in Bolton. The scheme has been put in place to help promote a positive social atmosphere, reduce negative experiences related to drunkenness – including anti-social behaviour and sexual harassment – and help minimise the associated costs drunken behaviour can have on the local night-time economy.

Drinkaware Crew will engage with clubbers and support young people who might be vulnerable as a result of drinking too much, the staff are easily recognised and present throughout the night to make sure that young people are having fun and get home safely.

Elaine Hindal, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, said:
“We are delighted to bring our Drinkaware Crew to Bolton. From our 2015 pilot programmes, we know that this scheme can work well to help reduce the number of young adults experiencing drunken sexual harassment and we expect to see the same positive results in Bolton.

“As our campaign ‘You wouldn’t sober, you shouldn’t drunk, is rolled-out this month in Manchester, we would like to remind young people that drunken sexual harassment – such as groping or inappropriate sexual banter – is not acceptable and being drunk is no excuse. Our Drinkaware Crew will be on hand in Level to provide assistance and support to young people if they need it.”

PC Andy Vernon, Licensing Officer for Bolton said: “We’re really proud of Bolton’s vibrant nightlife and the majority of people that go out in our town are well behaved and respectful of others.

“A small minority however will seek to cause trouble or take advantage of people who’ve had a few drinks and nobody should have to endure that sort of behaviour on a night out.

“We’re delighted to welcome the ‘Drinkaware Crew’ scheme to Bolton and hope that it’ll make people feel safer on a night out, as well as reducing incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour.”

Bertram Igbokwe, General Manager of Level said: “We’re really happy to be part of the ‘Drinkaware Crew’ scheme. The training they have given has helped us improve the customer experience for people who may need assistance whilst on a night out. The new staff have been able to add a new dynamic which means that people in potentially vulnerable situations have someone who is there to spend as much time as is needed to make sure they are looked after and can either enjoy the rest of their night or get home safely.

“The security team, management and first aiders have done a very good job of this in the past but this extra team has taken a lot of pressure off them so they can concentrate on making sure that the general clubbing environment is safe.”

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, commenting on the Drinkaware Crew launched in Bolton, said: 

"A lively nightlife is a huge part of any student community and I am proud of the successes and continued growth of the university and local colleges respectively in my constituency

“It is everyone’s right to have a good time with peace of mind and this pioneering project by Drinkaware goes a long way to building on the success of Bolton’s night-time economy and reassuring young people, their friends and families that Bolton is a safe place to enjoy a night out.”

The Drinkaware Crew launch in Bolton follows a six month pilot in November 2015 that included five areas in South West England: Cheltenham, Exeter, Plymouth, Truro and Torbay – in addition to Nottingham It forms part of Drinkaware’s Drunken Nights Out* campaign, developed to reduce alcohol related harm in the night time economy. Following the pilot, the initiative is now expected to be expanded across the UK.

Contact

Hannah Collier, Media and Communications Officer e: HCollier@drinkaware.co.uk t: 0207 766 9910 / 07879 844023

Notes to Editors:
• Drinkaware is an independent UK-wide, alcohol education charity with the objective of positively changing public behaviour and the national drinking culture. We aim to reduce alcohol misuse and minimise harm by helping people make better choices about their drinking. We achieve this by providing impartial, evidence-based information, advice and practical resources; raising awareness of alcohol and its harms and by working collaboratively with partners (including the medical community, public health, third sector organisations, local authorities, police and the drinks industry). For further information visit www.drinkaware.co.uk
•*Drinkaware’s Drunken Nights Out programme was informed by a qualitative research led strategic review, ‘Drunken Nights Out: motivations, norms and rituals in the night-time economy’ and also include an awareness raising campaign.
• Drinkaware crew were previously known as Club Hosts