Knowsley Council can reflect on a strong campaign that has helped to raise awareness of alcohol consumption through a number of initiatives and activities; as well as gaining some highly visible participants.
Dry January is a campaign by Alcohol Concern aimed at the social drinker, encouraging them to give up alcohol for a month. It is not a medical detox programme. Dry January challenges people to feel better and save money by committing to not drink alcohol for 31 days.
Two such participants this year were Jan Tattersall, Working Well Officer and Ian Whiteside, Senior Youth Worker (North Area) from Knowsley Council.
Jan took the 31-day Dry January challenge to take advantage of the health and financial benefits. Ian was another to participate in the campaign and wanted to take a hands-on approach to a subject matter that he encounters on a daily basis.
'My field is substance misuse, so I was interested in the theme. I also wanted to challenge myself and use to promote the message to others'
Social occasions were cited as one of the biggest challenges to staying on track to complete the month; pressures that many people feel when it comes to alcohol consumption. But a mixture of will power and avoiding certain social occasions meant both Ian and Jan were able to comfortably rise to the challenge.
'It's better with other people. I think doing it as a Team sport would make it a good marathon for a group of mates' Ian Whiteside commented.
From improved sleeping patterns to saving money, both Ian and Jan experienced a whole range of benefits by taking part in the month long campaign.
But as well as the short term benefits of taking part in Dry January they both felt that participation had sharpened their views on alcohol consumption and shown the long term health benefits of moderation.
Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley, said "We had a fantastic response in Knowsley to Dry January and through this campaign, we have helped to raise awareness of the impact regularly drinking in excess of the recommended limits can have on people's health."
Dry January is a campaign by Alcohol Concern aimed at the social drinker, encouraging them to give up alcohol for a month. It is not a medical detox programme. Find out more at www.dryjanuary.org.uk, follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/DryJanuary and Twitter