A summer safety campaign was recently launched in locations across the Outer Hebrides, to ensure that people can enjoy the summer months, and know how to stay safe.
The campaign was launched by the Outer Hebrides Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) together with the NHS Western Isles health promotion team, the sexual health team and the Community Safety Partnership. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the safe use of alcohol, the risks of drugs and legal highs, and safer sex at holiday time, when people are more likely to take part in risky behaviour.
Local launches took place in Lewis, Harris, Benbecula and Barra, as well as on Caledonian MacBrayne’s Isle of Lewis ferry. The launches were all extremely successful and new specially developed mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) were showcased and sampled (and enjoyed very much!).
Promotional items for the campaign included:
Mocktails: Two mocktails, The Atlantic Breeze and The Hebridean, were created by the County Hotel’s very own cocktail mixologist for the Summer Safety Campaign and are being promoted throughout licensed premises with the support of the local Licensing Board.
Flip Flops: Free flip flops have also been provided to licensed premises to promote getting home safe after a night out, as walking in high heels becomes much more challenging after a couple of alcoholic drinks.
Water Bottles: Free bottles of water will be available at social events across the Hebrides, including The Harris Tweed Hebrides Tattoo 2014. These are promoting safe driving with the message Stay Alive! Don’t Drink and Drive.
Ponchos: Rain ponchos with the message Hugs not Drugs are being issued to revellers of evening events across the Outer Hebrides. This is a fun (and practical) way of promoting the anti-drugs message.
Safer Sex: People are much more likely to participate in risk taking behaviours when they have been drinking alcohol, therefore condoms are being offered as part of the summer safety campaign. This is to support the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections and unintended pregnancies. Pregnancy test kits are also available free of charge, and there are actions to promote awareness of the harmful effects of alcohol use in pregnancy and the risks of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Women are encouraged to know if they are pregnant or not before drinking alcohol, as alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix.
Proof of Age Poster: Laminated posters have been issued to licensed premises providing details on acceptable forms of photographic identification, penalties for buying and selling alcohol to under 18s and also providing a wipeable section which details ‘No alcohol to be served to anyone born after...’ This is aimed at reducing the risks of underage drinking while providing employees with useful information, supporting them to do their jobs within the law.
Summer Safety Guide: Posters were distributed across the Outer Hebrides to licensed premises and shops to promote the range of activities from the summer safety campaign including drinking sensibly, safer sex, personal safety, legal highs, and alcohol and drugs information.
The coordinating partners have been greatly encouraged by the many local agencies, events and businesses which have come on-board with the summer safety campaign 2014 and wish the people of the Outer Hebrides and our visitors a fun and safe summer!