News item

Alcohol Awareness Award

Trading Standards in Portsmouth are asking licensed businesses throughout the city to sponsor a child to complete an alcohol awareness award.

The project is designed to help today's young people become the responsible consumers of tomorrow by educating them about the social, economic, career and health impacts of alcohol, and the importance of the licensed retail sector to the local and national economy.

The award provides a qualification for young people aged 13 – 16 demonstrating they understand the social and physical effects of alcohol, as well as appreciating the positive aspects of the contribution to the economy made by the licensed retail sector. 

As an independent BIIAB approved centre, trading standards will provide 10 hours structured training to each pupil followed by an examination in order that they can obtain the national award.

Independent research carried out in 2009 showed that:

  • 78% of course graduates agree or strongly agree that, if they choose to drink, they are more likely to be a responsible drinker as a result of the course.
  • 61% agreed that, if they choose to drink, they are less likely binge drink as a result of the course.

Principal Trading Standards Officer Neil Fitzpatrick said: ‘This is an opportunity for licensed premises to demonstrate they care about their communities. Sponsoring a child costs just £50.00 and could make a tremendous difference to that young person's perception of alcohol.

'There have been dramatic improvements in shops test purchase failure rates since we introduced training opportunities to local businesses, but there is a need to educate our young people to achieve further sustained improvements in underage drinking over the longer term.'

The New Kwikmart is the first business in Portsmouth to support the scheme and will be supporting 10 pupils.  Mr Panchalingam Aranan, owner of the New Kwikmart in Albert Road said: ‘Educating young people about the dangers of alcohol must be a good thing and I am very happy to assist trading standards improve our community and help young people in any way I can.

Cllr John Ireland, Cabinet member for Children's Services said: ‘This is another excellent scheme provided by Trading Standards.  Education is the way forward and if this programme can help young people understand that binge drinking has dreadful consequences then it deserves all our support.  I am delighted that the business community is getting behind this project and would encourage more to sign up.’