Drinkaware Crew look after the welfare of young adults on a night out. Working in pairs, Drinkaware Crew mingle with customers to promote a positive social atmosphere and provide assistance to those who may be vulnerable as a result of excessive alcohol consumption.

The Drinkaware Crew scheme was informed by research insights presented in Drinkaware’s ‘Drunken Nights Out’ report, and the feasibility of the scheme was first tested in venues in Nottingham over a five-week period at the end of 2014. Informed by this we ran a pilot for eight months, from November 2015 to July 2016, and the learning was presented in the report ‘Helping create a safer night time economy: Drinkaware Crew pilot’.

At the end of 2018, the scheme was live in 23 venues across 11 areas, and it was decided to commission research to gauge the views of venue staff, managers and customers in order to inform plans for the development of the scheme.

The research

The research involved observations and interviews in nine venues employing Drinkaware Crew as well as a survey of 303 young people aged 18-24 who had visited a venue with Drinkaware Crew. The research was undertaken November 2018 to January 2019.

Key findings

Venue manager and staff views:

  • Drinkaware Crew provide a dedicated role that is welcomed by duty managers and security staff – they are seen as part of the team and there is little conflict of responsibility.
  • Drinkaware Crew free up time, allowing security and management to focus on safety and any bigger issues taking place – e.g. drugs, violence. They provide dedicated time to vulnerable people when they need it.

‘Crew is worth its weight in gold, takes pressure off the general management. Manager can then be released to deal with other issues like queuing. They are an extended arm’ (student union manager)

Venue customer views:

  • 2 in 5 venue customers were aware of Drinkaware Crew.
  • Over half (54%) recognised the uniform when prompted.
  • 1 in 5 had personally interacted with Drinkaware Crew.
  • 2 in 3 (67%) think it is ‘very important’ for venues to employ staff like Drinkaware Crew (and additional 30% think it is ‘slightly important’).
  • 4 in 5 (83%) feel more positive about a venue when it employs Drinkaware Crew.
  • 3 in 4 (76%) would be willing to pay £1 more to enter a venue employing Drinkaware Crew.

‘I personally feel safer in the knowledge that there are individuals on hand to help myself and my friends if necessary. It makes me regard a company more positively, as it shows that they are socially responsible and concerned with the welfare of patrons’  (venue customer)

Read the research report here