Following a successful pilot in Greater Manchester, the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has invited local authorities across the UK to take part in the ‘Communities in Charge of Alcohol’ (CICA) programme – a community centred approach to reducing alcohol harm through evidence-based interventions.
The pioneering pilot programme, which was evaluated by a team led by the University of Salford, delivered the first alcohol focused health champion role of its kind between 2017-19.
The programme recruits and trains networks of locally engaged and RSPH accredited ‘Alcohol Health Champions’ (AHCs) – local residents who learn skills to address issues around alcohol consumption in their communities.
Volunteers are recruited through local authority channels and community networks, and take part in a two-day training programme, designed by the RSPH and their Greater Manchester collaboration partners. The programme uses a cascade, or Train-the-Trainer model, whereby newly trained AHCs in each intervention area deliver at least one cascade training event.
This delivery is targeted predominantly at untrained members of the local communities, creating a cohort of second generation AHCs embedded within their communities. This Train-the-Trainer model provides long term sustainability to the building of support networks and local activism around alcohol issues within communities.
Kiran Kenth, Director of National and Regional Programmes, commented:
“Following the huge success of CICA in Greater Manchester, we are delighted to roll-out this ground-breaking programme and equip Community Alcohol Champions across the country with the resources and skills needed to empower individuals and communities to take back control of their alcohol consumption. CICA offers not only training, but direct action in local communities. The grass-roots approach that this innovative programme takes offers vital support to communities in the long-term.”