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

In partnership with the entertainment company DHP family, Drinkaware has introduced specially trained staff known as Drinkaware Crew at the riverside Thekla nightclub, East Mud Dock, Bristol. The Drinkaware Crew 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 recognisable and present throughout the night to make sure that young people are having fun and get home safely.

Elaine Hindal, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, says:

“We are delighted to bring our Drinkaware Crew to Bristol. A regional pilot has shown that the Crew were effective in supporting vulnerable customers who have drunk too much, potentially preventing those having serious accidents from wandering home alone, and we’re therefore now rolling out the scheme to more venues across the UK.

“Venue managers also believe that the Drinkaware Crew have allowed other staff to focus on their jobs and ensure the safety and wellbeing of customers.

“Many customers have appreciated the presence of Crew and reported that they contributed to a positive night out and we hope to see the same success here.”

Councillor Fi Hance, Cabinet Member for City Health and Wellbeing, said: “Alcohol plays an important part in our society and economy, but far too many people drink more than they should.

“This means that people often don’t realise the damage it can cause – having Drinkaware Crew at Thekla is a brilliant idea which should help our young people and businesses stay safer, especially over Christmas when we know people often drink too much. 

“We’ve recently launched Bristol’s Big Drink Debate, a city-wide survey examining the public’s attitudes to alcohol to help shape a safe and sensible drinking culture in Bristol.”

Michele Phillips, Areal Manager of DHP family said: “After the success of Drinkaware Crew in Nottingham we are really excited about bringing the scheme to Bristol. Thekla welcomes hundreds of customers on board every week, and we are pleased to continue ensuring they have a great experience with us, in partnership with Drinkaware.”

Andrea Roberts, RLSS UK Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator for Bristol said: “On average around a third of all 18 to 21-year-old drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream.

“Drinking near water can be dangerous and a deadly cocktail and we are continuing to work with Thekla through our Don’t Drink and Drown campaign and supporting Drinkaware to educate and advise drinkers to act responsibly near water after they have been drinking, and to make sure they and their friends avoid walking home near bodies of water.

“Bristol party-goers will be warned to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol at an awareness event on 8 December at Thekla night club. RLSS UK, the UK’s drowning prevention charity, will be raising awareness and educating clubbers as they enter and leave the famous floating night club, handing out drinking water and wristbands.”

The Drinkaware Crew launch in Bristol follows a pilot from November 2015 to May 2016 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.

ENDS

Contact:

Bex Couper, Media and Communications Manager: BCouper@drinkaware.co.uk t: 0207 766 9906

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