Important message behind fun night at Skegness Youth Club

Young people have been learning important information about alcohol misuse - and having fun at the same time.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 1:00 am
PCSOs from Skegness help Skegness Youth Club members dish up some burgers at a special engagement evening.

A number of agencies, including the police, came together at Skegness Youth Club on Thursday evening to engage socially with the young people and help promote the CAP programme.

Sgt Kate Odlin, of Skegness Police, said: "We were keen to get involved with the CAP project as it had been successful in Boston and we wanted this opportunity for Skegness.

"The CAP sees us working with other stakeholders in a mix of education - and ultimately taking enforcement should it be necessary.".

Tex Spencer, 10, takes part in one of the CAP activities stacking cups wearing night goggles.

As PCSOs from Skegness helped cook burgers in the kitchen, Alan Simpson, CAP adviser for the east of England and Scotland, explained to the Standard how the organisation works.

CAP encourages local partnership working to tackle underage alcohol misuse and associated anti social behaviour. It is unique in that it recognises that retail is part of the solution and has been shown to be more effective than enforcement alone, especially in Boston.

Over 180 CAPs have now been set up across the UK - with three in Lincolnshire in Skegness, Boston and Spalding.

"CAP has been runner for 12 years and was started in the south-east of England, creating the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group. which has seen success with projects such as Challenge 25 - many people may have seen these posters in shops," Mr Simpson explained.

"We support youth groups using a balance of education and diversion activities, working with police, schools and councils as well as retailers to tackle underage drinking.

"In Skegness we have done a lot of work with Skegness Academy and Skegness Grammar School as well as the Youth Club."

On Thursday, as well as engaging socially with Youth Club members. there were CAP activities such as wearing night vision goggles to 'walk the line' - used by police when assessing whether a person is drunk - and stacking cups, to show how drinking can impair a person's senses.

in addition, a clever tablet App was used to take your picture and then show you what you would look like after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis.

Viv Cross runs the Youth Club in Skegness and says evenings such as this are important for getting messages across to the centre's 20 young people.

"It enables young people to learn that the police are there to help them and shouldn't be feared," she said. "We also offer activities during school holidays to keep young people occupied and out of trouble, and this half-term we are running a Basic Lifesaver Skills course."

Lilly Roantree, 12, travels from Louth to Skegness Youth Club after completing one of the youth club's clubs holiday activities.

"I really enjoy helping out," she said. "I feel much more confident now and have made lots of friends."