Ballyclare High pupils learn lessons on responsible drinking

Jorge Lopes, Country Director Diageo NI with teacher Gareth Shaw and pupils Grace Marks and Nicholas McKenna and the Collingwood Learning teamCredit �Press Eye/Darren Kidd
Jorge Lopes, Country Director Diageo NI with teacher Gareth Shaw and pupils Grace Marks and Nicholas McKenna and the Collingwood Learning teamCredit �Press Eye/Darren Kidd
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Pupils at Ballyclare High were given a powerful lesson recently when they witnessed the reality of alcohol misuse played-out on-stage.

Over 200 pupils watched a performance of ‘Smashed’, a theatre alcohol awareness and education programme led by Collingwood Learning and sponsored by Diageo Northern Ireland.

The cast of ‘Smashed’ delivered a highly engaging show to pupils, telling the story of a group of friends whose misuse of alcohol ends in tragedy. The production explores the causes and consequences of alcohol misuse and helps equip students with tools for understanding and resisting peer influence and supports them in making responsible decisions.

An innovative programme, ‘Smashed’ was designed in consultation with young people and teachers. It includes a live theatre piece delivered by three actors along with an interactive workshop, post-performance discussion and teaching resources endorsed by The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations, and Assessment in Northern Ireland.

‘Smashed’ has visited 20 post primary schools across Northern Ireland in November 2017 covering the North Eastern Education & Library Board area.

Russell Milliken Head of Year Nine, said: “The ‘Smashed’ programme portrays a very important message around responsible drinking and the dangers of underage drinking. We have had a really positive response from students - everyone who watched the show was engaged by the power of the performance. Having the cast of ‘Smashed’ come into our school and help to inform and educate our young people around this important issue is an opportunity that we value.”

Jorge Lopes, Country Director for Diageo Northern Ireland, which sponsors the ‘Smashed’ programme said: “We believe in educating young people to help them make informed decisions about alcohol consumption in the future. We have had a really positive response from the schools we have visited – both from the teachers and pupils – and look forward to bringing the programme back again early next year.”