Alcohol education charity Drinkaware is continuing its support for pubs, bars and clubs with the expansion of its successful Drinkaware Crew scheme into new areas in time for Freshers’ Week. Following the expansion, Drinkaware Crew will be operating in 14 cities around the UK.
Drinkaware Crew, which helps to keep young people safe during nights out, will launch in Derby, Coventry and Leicester, and expand into new venues in Nottingham, from September, operating across a total of 10 new sites including Student Union bars and other venues. The new schemes are the result of partnerships between Drinkaware, the participating venues and local stakeholders, including police forces, PCCs, BIDs and local authorities.
Drinkaware Crew are additional members of the venue’s staff team who receive specialist training in how to support young people who may be vulnerable as a result of drinking too much. They mingle in pairs around the venue, wearing branded Drinkaware Crew clothing for easy identification, and offer assistance where needed, from helping vulnerable people get a taxi home and reuniting them with their friends to handing out water bottles. As well as reactive support, they proactively promote a positive atmosphere, by talking to customers queuing to enter the venue, and engaging with them during the evening.
The response to Drinkaware Crew has been overwhelmingly positive with venues reporting that the crews are helping to improve the safety and wellbeing of customers, as well as freeing up time for other staff including security and bar teams to focus on their jobs. Venues also report that having Drinkaware Crew is helping to build and strengthen relationships with their local community.
Rommel Moseley, Drinkaware Director of Business Development and Partnerships, said, “We are pleased to be taking Drinkaware Crew into three new cities ahead of Freshers’ Week.
“Drinkaware Crew delivers clear benefits to customers, to other team members, and to the business overall. Venues that operate Drinkaware Crew are demonstrating their commitment to social responsibility and to ensuring a safe environment for their customers.
“We look forward to launching Drinkaware Crew in many more pubs, clubs and bars across the country.”
At The Garage in Glasgow, which has been operating Drinkaware Crew since October last year, deputy GM Iain Alexander said, “We have a big security team here and they’re great, but on a busy night, they have to deal with other things so the Drinkaware Crew have taken the stress off them and other staff. We’ve seen countless benefits from having them – they’re here to stay.”
Security team member Grayson Underhill at Thekla in Bristol, which launched Drinkaware Crew in October last year, added, “Before Drinkaware Crew arrived last autumn, the security team was under pressure to look after the safety of the public as well as assisting with customers who had drunk too much, which meant members of the team were pulled away at times when we needed them. Now we work alongside Drinkaware Crew it’s all more efficient; they’re a real asset to Thekla.”
Earlier this year, Drinkaware also launched an Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness e-learning course to support smaller venues, giving customer-facing staff the skills and knowledge to identify alcohol-related vulnerability and support customers at risk from harm. The e-learning course is also used to complement Drinkaware Crew in larger venues.
Drinkaware Crew is designed for venues with a 500+ capacity and is currently running in Bolton, Cheltenham, Glasgow, Plymouth, Shoreditch, Cardiff, Swansea, Nottingham, Bristol, Birmingham and Exeter.