Horsham council to develop youth alcohol strategy

HORSHAM Rural City Council will study how it could change cultures of alcohol abuse in sporting clubsand social functions in the hope of receiving ongoing funding.
Nanjing Night Net

Horsham council received $25,000 from VicHealth for a scoping study into reducing alcohol consumption by youths aged 12 to 20.

The study was titled ‘Shifting the norm- Changing rural alcoholculture through youth’ and has been set up tolook at rural sporting clubs, functions at ruralhalls andprivate events.

Horsham council community services director Kevin O’Brien said the study would engage with health and community servicesand education providers

“We’ve established a working group with Grampians Community Health, Wimmera Uniting Care and Victoria police, Wimmera RegionalSports Assembly, Wimmera Primary Care Partnership and Federation Uni,” he said.

“We’ll go through a process of engaging with youth, we’ve also sought input from Horsham College re-engagement program.

“Our focus is looking at alcohol abuse and the risk of disengagement from society and education.”

The initial study will take about six months to complete.

The report fromthe scoping study will be used to apply for a further grant of up to $300,000 to implement its recommendations.

“Not all the projects get second phase funding,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said there were long-standing programs for preventing youth alcohol abuse, particularly the ‘Good Sports’ program for sports clubs.

“We acknowledge that there has been a lot of good work done in that space,” he said.

“What we have done is focused this more on disengaged youth but we would certainly be working with any of those sort of programs to make sure we are not duplicating them.

“We would be offering added value through our programs.”

Horsham Rural City was one of eightcouncils toreceive moneyto develop ways to tackle risky alcohol cultures in their community.

The preliminary projects were funded through stage one of VicHealth’s Alcohol Culture Change Initiative for Local Councils.

Turning Point group’s research has shown that Horsham had one of the worst results in Victoria for alcohol-related emergency room presentations andassaults at peak alcohol serving times.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.