Work on reducing under-age drinking in Mansfield wins national award

GOOD GRIEF! -- Sue Grief, the scourge of under-age drinking, receives her award from CAP director Nick Grant.
GOOD GRIEF! -- Sue Grief, the scourge of under-age drinking, receives her award from CAP director Nick Grant.

A champion of reducing under-age drinking in Mansfield and Ashfield has received a national award for her “tremendous” work.

Sue Grief has been hailed as one of the driving forces behind a dramatic drop in the buying and drinking of alcohol by under-18s and in alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

Now she has won a community champion accolade from the nationwide Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP), of which she is if the communications officer for the Mansfield and Ashfield area.

Sue received her award from CAP director Nick Grant, head of legal services at Sainsbury’s, who said: “Sue has come up with a wide range of creative and effective ways to inform and educate the public. These include newsletters for local schools, leaflets for distribution in local shops and articles for the press.

“Her superb idea for temporary spray stencils on pavements outside shops, warning adults not to buy alcohol for children, has been a huge hit and adopted by CAP groups all around the UK.”

Derek Lewis, chairman of CAP, said: “Sue has made a tremendous contribution to the success of CAPs in Nottinghamshire.”

CAP brings together retailers, local councils, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and others to tackle the problem of under-age drinking. Sue’s award coincided with the launch of a report that shows how effective CAP has been.

In Mansfield, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour among youngsters has fallen by 53%, which is 13% higher than the national average. There has also been a 14% reduction in the number of cases of adults buying alcohol for under-18s..

On average, in CAP areas across the country, the number of police confiscations of alcohol from under-18s drinking in public has dropped by 85%. Alcohol-related violent crime has also fallen.

Added Mr Lewis: “Local partnerships of communities and retailers are working together to provide tailor-made solutions to under-age drinking. They are a powerful and effective way to protect children and create better and safer neighbourhoods.”

CAP groups also have the support of the government. Minister Sarah Newton said: “It is clear they are playing an important role. I am impressed with the work they are doing across the UK to protect and support young people in our society.”

Funding for CAP is provided by major retailers who are concerned about under-age drinking. They include Aldi, Asda, the Co-op, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, One Stop, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.