Hucknall school praised for campaign against alcohol abuse

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Students from a Hucknall school have been told their alcohol awareness campaign ideas hold big promise.

The team from Holgate Academy were competing in this year’s Dragons’ Den scheme, run by Ashfield Community Safety Partnership, and heard that some of their proposals could “go national”.

Year 10 students across the district had been invited to produce an awareness-raising campaign aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and challenging the social acceptability of alcohol.

The team received a £1,000 cheque for the school after judges chose Holgate as the overall winners.

Their strategy included messages on the sleeves around paper coffee cups, development of a smartphone app and the tagline “Your health in your hands”.

Panel member Alan Simpson, of Community Alcohol Partnerships, said: “When looking at the ideas I asked myself could these transfer out? With the coffee cup wraps, I think they could well go national.”

Judge Nicky Weston said: “You are all positive role models, I come away really inspired.”

Holgate were also given the £500 award for innovation in the final, held at Sutton Community Academy on Friday March 13, where three teams made their final presentations. Schools county-wide were also involved through the D.A.R.E. programmes as part of comprehensive substance use education and prevention work.

The Dragons’ Den initiative, now in its sixth year, was last week named runner-up in the National Crimebeat Awards, and has attracted national attention for its successful methods of teaching young people about safety.

The Den is organised by a group led by NCC Community Safety Officer Leah Sareen and representatives from Ashfield’s schools, police and experts in the field. The programme was funded by the Community Safety Partnership—Ashfield District Council, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottinghamshire County Council and other public service providers working together to improve community safety.

A wide range of methods of raising awareness about healthy lifestyles and alcohol had been researched and developed by the teenagers, including an interactive drama written and produced by Sutton Community Academy, websites, leaflets, product label wraps and thought-provoking videos.

The judges and the competition organisers praised all of the campaigns and it is expected that in future elements from them will be used by those organising and delivering work with young people relating to alcohol.