Vickki, our West Midlands Development Officer, was invited by Solihull School to deliver one of our free assemblies; a new initiative creating awareness of the dangers of binge drinking amongst young people. The 20 minute assembly has three main focusses. We encourage students to understand the facts surrounding binge drinking, to recognise the consequences and to equip them with the knowledge of what to do in an emergency.

The assembly at Solihull School was delivered to year groups 10 and 11. As well as the assembly, Vickki took along two of our display boards from the Community Health Project covering Responsible Drinking and set them up at the front of the theatre to accompany the information she was delivering. She also took some visual aids (wine bottles, wine glasses, shot glasses and beer bottles) to demonstrate a unit measurement to the audience. This reinforced the message that it can be easy to drink in excess of the government guidelines without realising.

Despite being a quiet audience initially, they soon began to participate in some of the questions Vickki asked, indicating that they did have some existing knowledge of units and binge drinking. Several members of staff also commented to us at the end that they had improved their own knowledge and awareness of binge drinking.

Knowing what to do in an emergency is a key part of the assembly, and we used a video created by the British Red Cross Society to ensure students understood the importance of calling an ambulance and putting someone in the recovery position if it is suspected they have overdosed on alcohol. To underpin this message, Vickki left them with the closing statement of ‘remember the pushover, not the body bag’!