Alcohol education charity Drinkaware is launching its Drinkaware Crew programme in late night venues in Wakefield city centre this month — a first for Yorkshire.

The new scheme takes the total number of areas around the country in which Drinkaware Crew have been trained to 18.

Drinkaware Crew, which helps to keep young people safe during nights out, is being launched by Wakefield Business Improvement District (BID) with the support of West Yorkshire Police, as part of the city’s drive to secure Purple Flag status.

Drinkaware will deliver specialist staff training for Drinkaware Crew members in five city centre venues, introducing the scheme across Wakefield.

Drinkaware Crew are additional members of the venue’s staff team who 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 bottles of water.

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.

 

Safety and wellbeing

 

Operators around the country have been positive about the impact of Drinkaware Crew on their venues, reporting that it improves the safety and wellbeing of customers as well as freeing up time for other team members to focus on their jobs. Venues also report improved relationships with their local community.

Drinkaware chief executive, Elaine Hindal, said, “We are delighted to be introducing Drinkaware Crew into its first venues in Yorkshire, which gives us a presence in nearly all parts of the UK. The scheme has been a great success in other areas where it operates, delivering clear benefits to customers, venues and the local area.

“We are confident that Drinkaware Crew will prove to be an effective tool in Wakefield BID’s drive to improve the safety and enjoyment of young people on a night out and will contribute to them securing Purple Flag status.”

Drinkaware Crew is designed for venues with a 500-plus capacity and training has been delivered in Bolton, Cheltenham, Glasgow, Plymouth, Shoreditch, Cardiff, Swansea, Nottingham, Bristol, Derby, Coventry, Leicester, Birmingham, Loughborough, Stalybridge, Pontypridd and Exeter. Venues interested in operating Drinkaware Crew should contact drinkawarecrew@drinkaware.co.uk

Smaller venues can benefit from the Drinkaware Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness e-learning course, based on the Drinkaware Crew training programme. This gives customer-facing staff the skills and knowledge to identify alcohol-related vulnerability and support customers at risk from harm. For more information, e-mail elearning@drinkaware.co.uk

The Purple Flag standard is an accreditation process by the Association of Town & City Management. It enables members of the public to identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.

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