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These kids have gotta whole lotta bottle!
Wednesday 17th February, 2010

These kids have gotta whole lotta bottle!
Got the bottle

Young people from across the borough proved they had the bottle when they took to the stage recently to highlight the dangers of under-age drinking.

Over two nights, pupils from six schools performed a series of live dramas as part of Who’s Got the Bottle?, a project aimed at highlighting some of the gritty realities associated with alcohol and underage drinking – including anti-social behaviour, violent assault and death by drink driving.

Performing at Lowton Civic Hall in front of an invited audience of parents, pupils and Council officers, pupils from St John Fisher, Hawkley Hall, Hindley, Fred Longworth, Rose Bridge and the Deanery High Schools showcased their talent in a series of 10 minute dramas incorporating music and dance.

The project, which was launched last year by Wigan Council’s Trading Standards team, has proven to be an innovative way of getting key messages around alcohol across to young people, encouraging them to think about the dangers of underage drinking - and the potentially damaging consequences.

“We wanted to try a fresh approach encouraging young people to think more carefully about the dangers associated with underage drinking,” says Wigan’s Chief Trading Standards Officer, Julie Middlehurst. “The project gave young people a chance to look at their own beliefs and values, to consider the affects of alcohol on society, and to signpost those who may need support to relevant services.

She added: “I have been overwhelmed by the display of talent, enthusiasm and commitment that the young people have shown. They have taken on board the key messages and developed them with considerable insight, creating some thought-provoking and emotive performances. I would like to thank the pupils and schools for making this year’s event such a success.”

Professional film-makers were commissioned to film the 2-night production at Lowton Civic Hall, with a view to making the performances available for broadcast on social networking sites, as well as shown at schools around the borough.

Cllr. Susan Loudon, Wigan Council’s champion of children and young people, says:

“This project is a unique and innovative way of driving home key messages about the damaging affects of alcohol. Young people wield considerable influence over their peers, and by harnessing this in a creative way that gives them the freedom to explore their own ideas, we hope that initiatives such as Who’s got the bottle? continue to drive down underage drinking and reduce the harm alcohol causes to individuals, families and communities.”

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