The Alcohol Academy is a great example of how Alcohol Research UK provides funding to pilot new ideas and commits to its on-going support.
In 2008 we awarded a small grant to Ranzetta Consulting to carry out a scoping study to explore the potential for a centre of excellence for workforce training and a network for information sharing by professionals with responsibility for alcohol harm reduction. Local alcohol leads, their employers, regional and national alcohol leads and academics were surveyed and we held a seminar for potential users.
In response to the very encouraging results, we provided a further grant of just over £30,000 in 2009 towards the set up costs of the Alcohol Academy and a further grant of nearly £50,000 has been awarded to fund the project for a further two years.
The Alcohol Academy quickly established itself as a recognised authority for alcohol leads, policymakers and others interested in the field, delivering a range of workshops, seminars and events across the UK to promote learning, networking and development amongst community leads. It responds to key issues with the preparation of briefing papers and working groups. To learn more about its work visit www.alcoholpolicy.net and www.alcoholacademy.net.
Our user survey has given us some very positive feedback:
- “It is really helpful when we get a summary overview that we can use locally, as we often would not have time to undertake this ourselves but it is vital to our partnership work locally and keeping people on board.”
- “I have a lot to reflect on in terms of what is actually being delivered in the Borough and where we need to make changes”. (Alcohol Strategy Lead)
James Morris, Director of the Alcohol Academy says:
“The Alcohol Academy has only been made possible because of Alcohol Research UK’s recognition of the need for learning and development within the alcohol harm reduction field. Without this support, the Academy’s vision to support local level alcohol harm reduction would never have been realised. This work is particularly important given the challenges the public sector faces – with Alcohol Research UK’s on-going support, the Academy intends to ensure as much momentum can be sustained for the alcohol agenda.”