Poetry, football, and ballroom dancing – “unexpected ways” to reduce alcohol harm

 

Communities Together is a community development project in north Pembrokeshire. It’s a project about facing up to alcohol issues in our communities – but one that didn’t begin with questions about alcohol at all.

Here in Wales, much like our neighbours across the British Isles, we don’t always have the healthiest relationship with alcohol. Doctors and public health workers have been telling us for decades to cut back. It’s a simple message, but in our complicated lives it’s not always an easy one to follow.

Telling people to live healthier lives doesn’t work. But what happens if we ask people what good health would look like for them? The pioneering American alcohol researcher Dr Harold Holder has urged “the well-intentioned people who introduce programmes into communities”, to engage with the community, relinquish control, and be prepared for things to happen in “unexpected ways”. That’s exactly what we did. Poetry, football, and ballroom dancing have been just some of the “unexpected” outcomes.

We believe that we’ve created a new paradigm for getting to grips alcohol issues in our communities. To find out more, contact the Project Manager,
Marc Mordey.

co-production, communities

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