A community centre in Salford invited the public to a free mocktail taster session on the 19 November to raise awareness about the mental and physical effects of alcohol consumption.
The afternoon at St Sebastian’s community centre on Douglas Green offered various mocktails to try while pupils engaged with quizzes and fact sheets about alcohol to prompt questions that they may be afraid to ask elsewhere.
Keepmoat Homes organised the day with their partnerships, including Inspiring Communities Together, Salford Healthy Communities and Connexions.
Mrs Baker said it is their second year of running the event for Alcohol Awareness week but this year they invited a year 10 class from Albion Academy, Salford.
She said: “It’s all about raising awareness. Greater Manchester has recently been in the media about alcohol consumption and you can witness the problem on the streets with the increasing amount of litter.”
She said that Alcohol Awareness week was the “perfect time” to achieve the “big push” in Manchester and to address the issue.
I think there needs to be more awareness and running an event once a year is simply not enough to combat alcohol usage.
This event is really friendly and relaxed which is essential to getting people to walk through the door, we need more laidback events like this that target younger people who may want to learn more about alcohol.
Alcohol awareness week is fast approaching! Why not join @KeepmoatHomes and partners this Monday at St Sebastian’s community centre Salford to try one of the many free alcohol free cocktails and find out more about the impact of alcohol consumption physically and mentally. pic.twitter.com/TRBPLPWz9b
— Julie Baker (@jbakerkeepmoat) November 15, 2018
Mrs Baker continued: “There is a lot of social pressure these days and it is so easy to pick up the bottle which is the main problem.
“We must deal with the problem now before it escalates.”
Her advice to people who want to socialise without drinking alcohol is to order a soft drink to avoid feeling isolated.
She said: “Social expectations make it difficult for people to go to the pub without having a drink, but if you just get a coke, people don’t know what you’re drinking.
“There is always a way around it you just need to think outside the box.”
Year 10 pupils from Albion Academy attended the event to learn about alcohol consumption.
Megan Johnson, a Year 10 pupil from Albion Academy, said: “The event today has been really useful because alcohol isn’t something that is often talked about in school and I think it should be.
“I would definitely come again outside of school and bring friends and family.”
This year Alcohol Awareness Week runs from 19-25 November.