A new alcohol charity has been launched following the merger of Alcohol Concern with Alcohol Research UK (DDN, April 2017, page 5). Alcohol Change UK’s mission will be to ‘significantly reduce serious alcohol harm in the UK’, it states, with an aim of creating ‘five key changes’ of improved knowledge, improved drinking behaviours, shifted cultural norms, better policies and regulation, and more and better support and treatment.
The new organisation will build on the ‘legacy of Alcohol Concern’s campaigning work’ such as Dry January and Alcohol Awareness Week, it says, along with Alcohol Research UK’s ‘deep insight and knowledge’ from its years of research.
‘This is a truly exciting time to be launching our new merged charity,’ said chair of trustees Professor Alan Maryon-Davis. ‘There is growing recognition that society’s relationship with alcohol needs to change and that more and better support is needed for people whose lives are blighted by drink. Research is key – we need to understand more about the complexities that link drinking and harm. So too is advocacy for evidence-based policy and effective practice. And, as ever, increased public awareness and healthier behaviours are fundamental. All these elements need to work in synergy rather than piecemeal.’
‘Too often, we in the UK remain blind to the sheer scale of serious alcohol harm taking place across our communities,’ added CEO Dr Richard Piper. ‘This harm is massive, but it is not inevitable and it’s not acceptable. Alcohol Change UK’s name, identity and deeply held values reflect this fundamental belief.’