Alcohol Change UK
This article needs to be updated.August 2019)(
|Legal status||Registered charity|
|Purpose||Alcohol harm reduction in the UK|
Trustee Board Chair
|£1 million p.a.|
Alcohol Change UK is a British charity and campaign group founded in 1984 whose aim is to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. It is best known for its flagship awareness programs Alcohol Awareness Week and Dry January.
History and organisation
Alcohol Concern was founded in 1984. In 2007 it became one of the 24 founding member organisations of Alcohol Health Alliance UK, a coalition of medical, charity and campaign organisations related to alcohol. In April 2017, Alcohol Concern merged with Alcohol Research UK, and in November 2018 the merged group was named Alcohol Change UK. It is now recognised as a national agency on alcohol misuse for England and Wales.
Since September 2017, the charity has been led by Chief Executive Officer Dr Richard Piper, previously of Roald Dahl's Marvellous Medicine Children's Charity. Richard Sumray is chair of the trustees.
In May 2012, Alcohol Concern began promoting Dry January, a national campaign in the UK for people to give up drinking alcohol for the month of January each year. The first Dry January was in 2013. The idea came from Emily Robinson, who gave up alcohol for January 2011 in preparation for a half marathon and joined Alcohol Concern in January 2012 while abstaining again. Public Health England began promoting the campaign in December 2014. In January 2018, a YouGov survey estimated that 3.1 million people in Britain were attempting Dry January.
The Charity also organises Alcohol Awareness Week each year. Alcohol Awareness Week 2017 was 13–19 November and had the theme "Alcohol and Families". It was arranged in partnership with substance abuse charity Adfam.
Its three-year project Communities Together, from 2014 to 2017, was a National Lottery-funded project encouraging healthy alcohol use in Fishguard and Goodwick in Wales, intended to develop harm-reduction approaches that can be expanded to other communities. Initiatives forming part of the project included an "alcohol-free" beer festival, held on Saint David's Day at Fishguard and Goodwick Rugby Club.
The Blue Light Project, supported by Public Health England, aims to reduce the financial burden caused by alcohol on public services, focusing on users of alcohol who have been resistant to the usual methods of treatment provision.
Alcohol Concern campaigns for the prohibition of or tight restriction of alcohol advertising and co-ordinates the Youth Alcohol Advertising Council which advocates enforcement of existing regulations. It also campaigns for a legal minimum price of alcohol per unit and other restrictions on alcohol promotion within stores, as well as a reduction of the legal drink driving limit.
Alcohol Concern acts as the secretariat and public enquiry point for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm, which exists to discuss alcohol-related issues and make related recommendations to government. As of July 2015 the chair of the group was Fiona Bruce MP.
Alcohol Concern receives funding from donations and from funding bodies including the Big Lottery Fund. In the financial year to 31 March 2016 it had a combined income of £953,100 and spending of £1,000,000. It had £417,300 total assets and £213,000 total liabilities.
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Alcohol Concern – runs the national drink helpline, Drinkline
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