Students at a Lancing school have been given a hard-hitting lesson in the risks of underage drinking as part of an alcohol awareness project.
Smashed, an alcohol education and awareness programme delivered by Collingwood Learning, came to Sir Robert Woodard Academy yesterday and included a performance about a group of friends who find themselves in trouble as a result of their misuse of alcohol.
Tim Loughton, East Worthing and Shoreham MP, said: “I’ve been involved in considerable work for campaigns addressing alcohol misuse and Smashed is certainly one of the more original approaches I’ve encountered.
“Children are constantly given dos and don’ts from all angles but using interactive performance to communicate the potential dangers of underage drinking and bring the students’ own thoughts into the conversation is both innovative and effective.”
The programme was developed in collaboration with young people, so it has a real impact and empowers young people to make informed choices.
Chris Simes, managing director at Collingwood Learning, said: “By combining powerful emotive theatre with engaging interactive workshops, our creative educational performances are making a difference nationwide.
“With Diageo’s support, we are making sure more of the next generation have the confidence and knowledge they need to stand up to peer pressures and understand the risks of alcohol misuse.”
Smashed has been designed to engage with pupils in a different way to typical school lessons. It combines the use of drama with interactive workshops to help young people understand the facts, causes and consequences of alcohol misuse and the risks of underage drinking.
The performance is followed by a discussion, where pupils are invited to probe the cast on issues brought up during the play and explore the consequences portrayed by the actors.
Aileen Keyes, head of alcohol in society Europe at drinks producer Diageo said: “Diageo are proud to be long-term sponsors of the Smashed project and Collingwood Learning.
“Their imaginative yet hard-hitting workshops are unforgettable, successfully raising awareness of the problems underage drinking and alcohol misuse can cause.
“Due to reach 45,000 school pupils this year in the UK alone, the programme ensures that an ever-growing number of young people are equipped to make informed decisions about drinking alcohol as they head towards adulthood.
“Our ambition is now to reach five million people through the Smashed programme by 2025.”