On Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP) in the Scottish Parliament showcasing the hard work the industry and its local partners are undertaking to combat alcohol misuse across Scotland.

The Partnership brings together producers, trade associations and partners to support, devise and deliver initiatives that contribute towards the promotion of responsible drinking and tackle alcohol-related harm in Scotland, with the Portman Group a proud supporter of the vital work the group undertakes.

MSPs and other stakeholders at the event, including police, the third sector, Alcohol & Drug Partnerships, and government officials, were able to learn about a number of key industry-supported schemes:

  • The independent alcohol education charity Drinkaware, which showcased its Drinkaware at Work programme to help support employers to educate their employees about alcohol to make workplaces safer and healthier.
  • The national accreditation and award scheme for licensed premises Best Bar None, which supports businesses improve the safety of their staff, premises and customers and to adopt high management standards.
  • Community Alcohol Partnerships, which bring together industry stakeholders with the police, trading standards, youth services, schools and local authorities with the aim is to reduce alcohol harm in local communities, with a particular emphasis on preventing underage drinking.
  • The Edinburgh-based volunteer organisation Street Assist, which operates every Friday and Saturday nights to provide a  safe space for people who have become vulnerable when out.
  • The national charity Alcohol Education Trust, which has developed ‘Talk About Alcohol’ resources for schools to ensure young people learn to stay safe around alcohol. Two-projects funded by the Scotch Whisky Action Fund, which funds projects to reduce alcohol-related harm in Scotland’s communities: BrightLight’s ‘Families in Recovery’ project and Waverley Care’s SX initiative aimed at supporting alcohol awareness and harm reduction among gay and bisexual men.

The event was also a chance for the SAIP to announce a new national campaign in partnership with Police Scotland aimed at tackling proxy purchase of alcohol by adults for children, as well as plans for the creation of further Community Alcohol Partnerships in communities across Scotland in the coming year.

Commenting, Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport Miles Briggs MSP (Lothian) who hosted the SAIP, said the event “was an engaging way to learn about the work that is going on across the country to tackle the harmful use of alcohol. I was particularly encouraged by the work being done by the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership and Police Scotland to tackle underage drinking.”