It is hard to believe that we are already half way through
the week and indeed, half way through the first term. I am pleased to write
that it has been an excellent start for the students and I would like to thank
you for ensuring they are wearing their uniform with pride and are arriving on
time, ready to learn.
It has been such a busy time, so I will focus on a wonderful event which took place at the academy, after school on Wednesday, 26th September. Last July, you may remember that 11 of our students took part in the launch of the new Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP). The launch of CAP was to tackle underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour. This took place as surveys of parents and residents had highlighted that both are significant problems in the area.
CAP is made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together with communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents. They aim to reduce the sale of alcohol to young people, advise them of the dangers of drinking and provide alcohol-free activities through youth services and local charities.
The Ore CAP brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including East Sussex County Council, Hastings Borough Council, the NHS, Safer Hastings Partnership, Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, licensing teams, the Hastings Academy, retailers and the community and it was good to see some of our partners present at the presentation.
Gillian Powell, (CAP programme manager) explained how CAP works with partners including the National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC) to raise awareness of the harms of young people drinking, including being given alcohol by parents or relatives.
Eleven of our students, last July, pledged to become CAP Youth Ambassadors and spread the word about the dangers of underage drinking. They all agreed to participate in the Youth Health Ambassador Programme run by the Royal Society of Public Health. This is designed to give young people the knowledge, skills, and confidence to act as peer mentors, increasing awareness of healthy lifestyles and encouraging involvement in activities to promote good health and the evening was an opportunity to realise the completion of the Level 2 course, for these students and hear of the great work they intend to do throughout the next year.
This includes different forms of interventions, such as our CAP ambassadors:
2. Delivering assemblies at The Hastings Academy in November, in line with Alcohol Awareness week
3. Target Years 7 & 8 in an open mentoring system, enabling students to feel comfortable to talk if they are being affected by alcohol misuse
4. Running Pop-up Clinics, where our ambassadors can signpost students to support agencies and clubs
5. Create tutor time activities for tutors to use during Alcohol Awareness week
6. Work with a professional mixologist to share creative non-alcoholic ‘mocktails’ with our Year 10 students
7. Spread awareness of the work of the CAP ambassadors by creating posters and displays about them
8. Deliver the alcohol misuse course to another group of Year 8 – 10 students to support the recruitment of more ambassadors
As I am sure you can imagine, the audience were delighted to listen to such mature commentary from these young people and all parents and representatives from the project were proud to watch the students as they received their award from Councillor Nigel Sinden (Mayor of Hastings). I would like to thank the CAP project and all the supportive agencies surrounding them, including our own Mrs Treloar for making this such a successful year for our students.