How to reduce alcohol-related harm at your university

Thursday 22-03-2018 - 14:04

Sign-ups are open for our alcohol harm-reduction scheme, Alcohol Impact. Get involved to receive tailored support for your institution.

Alcohol Impact is a harm-reduction behaviour change programme, to support students' unions and universities in fostering productive, healthy and inclusive student cultures surrounding drinking. 

To date, we’ve reached over 200,000 students, including through the participation of 200 sports clubs. Five thousand students have been actively involved with the programme, and fifty student auditors have received in-depth training. Our annual surveys have been completed by 46,000 students.

We’ve had great feedback from Alcohol Impact partnerships of students’ unions and universities. Since Alcohol Impact began, among the participating institutions, there’s been a 50% increase in the number of non-alcoholic events during welcome week; a 40% decrease in students’ exclusion from campus venues due to drinking-related incidents; and a 20% reduction in students being rejected from the union bar due to intoxication and aggression.

Case study: Bucks New Uni & Bucks SU

The university and union have done a really impressive amount of work to receive their Alcohol Impact accreditation. Here are some of their successes.

'Welcome week' now includes a more visible range of activities which are low or no alcohol. For instance, pop-up cinemas, silent discos, pizza parties, comedy nights and lunchtime music sessions. Students are trained as fresher helpers to ensure the ethos of Alcohol Impact is understood across campus.

To raise awareness, they've designed and spread posters and flyers explaining the dangers of excessive drinking on health and safety. They've also taken the campaign multimedia, and students made videos about the risks of binge drinking. This has formed part of students’ academic coursework.

Importantly, Bucks New Uni and Students’ Union has put the voices of those students who don't drink front and centre. They sent out a call for non-drinkers to share their preferences and experiences, to inform planning, and made sure the students' union's newspaper told their stories.

There are endless, creative ways your institution might approach Alcohol Impact; from sober raves, to awareness videos. It’s really up to you!

All the information you need for the sign-up process is here and the sign-up form is here.

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