Organisation:DrinkawareCategory:Medium OrganisationsCharity Reg no. :202046011. Tell us about the issue(s) this organisation is tackling and why it's important
2. How does your organisation go about tackling these issues?
- Why was the organisation set up? What is it trying to change or do? Why is it important to do this? Drinkaware is the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse in Ireland. There is an urgency to our mission, where alcohol use and, using alcohol to cope with uncertainty, stress and anxiety has risen. In pre-Covid Ireland, 44% drink alcohol on at least a weekly basis, 1 in 5 adults binge drink on a typical occasion and 50% report drinking to cope. In 2021, these percentages rose to 55% drinking weekly +, 61% drinking to cope and 15% reporting an increase in the amount they’re drinking with 14% increasing the frequency of their drinking. All of our mission-aligned work contributes to achieving our two goals: 1) to delay the age young people in Ireland have their first drink and 2) reduce the number of adults who drink above HSE low-risk weekly guidelines.
3. Tell us about a case where the organisation has made a positive difference.
- Explain your organisation's approach to solving the issues you identified in your previous answer. If it has had to adapt its activities in response to COVID-19, how did it do this? Outreach & Engagement: Drinkaware’s website, media, digital campaigns and evidence-informed health promotion resources are for the general public, and are widely utilised by community, health and education organisations. Research: Drinkaware invests in regular, robust national studies to explore the attitudes and behaviours of drinking in Ireland. In 2020 & 2021, we added Covid-19 related questions to our Barometer survey. Education: Drinkaware tackles underage drinking by empowering teachers and parents via workshops & in-school junior cycle Alcohol Education Programme, to support their students/children to develop skills and have a better awareness and understanding of the facts regarding alcohol. Both are evidence-informed, independently evaluated and took place virtually in 2020/21.
4. What has the overall impact of this work been and how do you measure it?
- This is your chance to talk about impact in qualitative terms. Provide a case study to illustrate the impact of the organisation’s work. We will accept anonymous case studies if you need to protect the identity of a service user or individuals under 18 years of age. You can include a quote or endorsement if you wish.In 2021, we published the summary report on the 3rd and final year of the independent longitudinal evaluation of Drinkaware’s junior cycle Alcohol Education Programme by Maynooth University. Although it is too early to tell the long-term impact the AEP will have on the attitudes and behaviours regarding alcohol, the positive indications reported in the evaluation show encouraging signs. In its final year the evaluation by Maynooth University reported that knowledge of the impact of alcohol on overall health and wellbeing rose from 22% pre-programme to 50% in year 3. There was a notable increase in the number of those with ‘no intention or interest in drinking from 30% in year 1 to 54% in year 3. As a result of participating in the programme students' knowledge: regarding alcohol’s impact on mental health rose by 23%, physical health by 20% and the consequences of underage drinking by 14%. Students’ feedback on the AEP shows encouraging signs: ‘I knew that drinking alcohol was bad for you and that most people can’t say no to alcohol if all their friends are drinking, but this year, I felt it brought more attention to the fact that you can say no’ (Students year 3). Teachers report positive experiences of delivering the AEP to their students: ‘It is very well researched and it has very diversified approach in methodologies. It is fun, frank and interactive. Superb’ (Teacher, Y3). ‘It develops the social and personal skills to help students resist alcohol.’ (Teacher, Y 2)
5. What makes your organisation special?
- How would you describe the overall impact of your organisation’s work? What measures do you use to know if you have been successful at achieving your goals? How do you know what to improve or change in your work? Please include as much evidence as possible to demonstrate your impact. The overall impact of our work aligns with delivering our mission and it is vitally important that we measure what matters: Drinkaware’s work is scoped and reviewed in terms of impacts, and these are directly linked to the five identified Levers of Change in Drinkaware’s Strategic Plan: An understanding of misuse; A desire and willingness to change; The know-how to change; The incentive (reward) to change; and Push-back on the age of first drink. A full set of outcomes & impacts is in our 2020 Annual Report, which include: 5532,194 visits to www.drinkaware.ie in 2020 (+5% on 2019), and almost 2 million pages were viewed The 11,134 orders from individuals for our public health resources 92% of those who used Drinkaware resources agree they will help them to drink less 15000+ post-primary students have received the Alcohol Education Programme (AEP) Almost four in ten Year 3 students (37%) said that they either intended to ‘delay for as long as possible’ (22%) or to ‘never’ drink (15%) By annually measuring the motivations and attitudinal as well as behaviour shifts regarding alcohol consumption and lifestyle, emerging trends are identified and used to inform campaigns and programmes such as those that address specific groups (e.g.Our Families, Alcohol & COVID-19 Barometer paper), issues (e.g. Alcohol & Covid-19 hub), or trends (e.g. at-home drinking).
6. How can the public support your work?
- What is the organisation’s unique selling-point? What makes the organisation different from others working in the same field/area?Drinkaware has uniquely high levels of public awareness as the provider of trusted information on alcohol. Measured independently by Behaviour & Attitudes, it has grown from 76% (2017) to 89% (2020). That trust gives us our social contract to exist and operate. It stems from the accessibility of our message and our resources: Being inclusive and empathetic, we deliver awareness, education and engagement with compassion and pragmatism. And because we specialise in behaviour change in its fullest remit, we utilise best practice, literature reviews, benchmarking, and research in the behaviour change field to bridge the knowledge-intention-action gaps. Our resources also uniquely include practical tools to support people’s capacity to change and to cut down or cut out alcohol.
7. Describe how your organisation is transparent and accountable
- Do you need volunteers? Do you fundraise? Can the public share your story? Give them a call to action.The public can support our work by engaging with it. Our remit is alcohol awareness and education so the greater the number that engage with our programmes and campaigns, visit the website and use the calculator and order our free resources, the greater our reach and therefore opportunity to support people to cut down on, or cut out alcohol. Whilst we are not closed to public donations, the majority of our funding comes from voluntary corporate donations and the continuation of these, plus its expansion across different corporate sectors – is a key focus in the years ahead.
- For example, do you publish your annual accounts online? Are you compliant with the Charities Regulator's Charities Governance Code? Do you use the Charities Regulator’s Fundraising Principles?As a national charity, Drinkaware is committed to good governance, transparency and accountability. Drinkaware is governed by a voluntary Board of eight Directors from the education, business, health and behaviour change communities who oversee our operations and strategic progress. Our Board Members do not receive remuneration. We comply with the Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations. We review and report on compliance annually. Our financial statements are prepared in keeping with the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP). Each year, we publish our Annual Report and audited Financial Statements on our website: https://drinkaware.ie/2020-annual-report/