Guernsey starts an alcohol programme for 11-year-olds

Problems with under-age drinking have led to the States introducing an alcohol risk programme targeting 11-year-old children.

A survey found 13% of Year 8 pupils, aged 12 to 13, admitted to drinking.

The Start Thinking About Alcohol Risks Today (STAART) programme will begin in Year 7.

Andrea Nightingale, Drug and Alcohol Coordinator, said: "Year 7 is an ideal time to work with students to encourage them to choose to be alcohol free."

Joint initiative

Nearly 330 Year 7 pupils have already participated in the new initiative, which involves a 20 minute one-to-one interview with a trained worker, followed up by a series of discussion cards which are sent home for use by the child with their parents or carers.

Colin Macleod, The Channel Islands' Co-operative Society Chief Executive, who is supporting the programme said, "We have a duty to promote responsible drinking.

"The STAART programme, which has been hugely effective in better informing young people in the island about responsible drinking behaviours and alcohol misuse."

STAART is a joint initiative between Guernsey and Jersey Health Promotion Units, the Bailiwick Drug and Alcohol Strategy and the Education Department's PSHE Advisor.

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