Press Releases

“People don’t realise the extent of the link between mental health and alcohol use” – volunteers share their stories for Alcohol Awareness Week

16 November 2020

Volunteers from a Greater Manchester training programme which empowers communities to take control of their alcohol consumption have been sharing their thoughts on alcohol and mental health – the theme for this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week. Read the full press release, here:

RSPH sets out to help communities tackle alcohol harm

10 January 2020

Press release – 10 January 2020

University tests impact of pioneering community alcohol scheme

21st September 2017

The University of Salford has won a £770,000 grant to evaluate a pioneering programme aimed at combating the growing number of people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol across Greater Manchester.
The Communities In Charge of Alcohol programme is being launched today (Thursday September 21) by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and will be led by community volunteers called ‘Community Alcohol Champions’ who will be trained to help family, friends and
colleagues to rethink their drinking habits.
The University’s evaluation, funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), will assess the impact of the scheme and whether it can later go on to be introduced in other parts of the UK.

The latest statistics from Public Health England show that residents from across all ten boroughs in Greater Manchester are consuming more alcohol than the national average. This is both a danger to themselves and puts emergency services under greater strain. The first wave of the programme is being launched in Salford and Stockport and will be rolled out to all other Greater Manchester boroughs by May 2018. The University of Salford’s School of Health Sciences is leading the NIHR-funded evaluation, in partnership with the University’s School of Health and Society, the University of Bristol, the University of York and Public Health England.
Lead researcher, Professor Penny Cook, said: “This is the first time that Greater Manchester has coordinated an approach to building health champion capacity across the entire city region. “This presented a unique opportunity to carry out a robust, independent evaluation to find out whether the programme reduces the harm caused by alcohol. The results will be used to help other areas that want to set up similar programmes.” Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Beverley Hughes has backed the initiative saying: “Alcohol related crime is putting avoidable pressure on an already overstretched police and health services. The effect of binge drinking on antisocial behaviour is widely known but excessive alcohol consumption also leads to an increase in more serious crimes that are being committed across Greater Manchester.

“It is important not only for community safety but also for health and wellbeing of our residents that we encourage people to cut down on the amount of alcohol they drink.” “Many people in Greater Manchester are unaware of the effect alcohol is having on their health. Our Alcohol Champions will be figures of trust in the community who will support people as they think about and change their drinking habits.”
Community Alcohol Champions will attend local community events to speak to people about alcohol and health and be involved in licensing decisions within their communities. The importance of having a strong local knowledge has been recognised by local authorities, who alcohol champions will have a direct link with to report concerns.
The project is being run in partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, all ten Greater Manchester Local Authorities, the Royal Society for Public Health, the University of Salford and Public Health England North West. The University of Salford, with the University of Bristol and University of York, have been funded by the National Institute of Health to measure the impact of the project on Greater Manchester’s alcohol consumption.