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Teenagers gather for youth workshop on alcohol

Teenagers gather for youth workshop on alcohol

Some 20 teenagers from around the country are gathering in Wellington this weekend to discuss ways of reducing alcohol-related harm amongst young people.

The teenagers are part of the Alcohol Advisory Council’s very successful community based Youth Access to Alcohol (YATA) programme.

The YATA initiative is a project that works with broad based community teams. It is aimed at reducing the alcohol-related harm experienced by young people through encouraging adults in the community to reduce the illegal or irresponsible supply of alcohol to young people.

For each community the make-up of the team differs but the constant factors are youth participation and the participation of a number of agencies.

Currently YATA programmes are running in 20 communities, 13 of which have sent youth representatives to the two-day workshop being held at the Overseas Terminal building in the Capital.

ALAC’s programme manager young people Sandra Kirby says we need to learn from young people.

“If we are always doing something at youth rather than involving them we’ll get it wrong,” she says. “We need to know what young people think and to help them become more empowered.

“We will both learn from each other.”

ALAC hopes to learn how to encourage more young people to get involved in the YATA projects, she says.

“At the same time we hope to provide the young people with some examples of projects that they could implement in their communities.”

Topics covered at the two-day workshop include alcohol and the law (what you can’t do if you are under 18); What’s a Controlled Purchase Operation?; Afterballs - an adult’s nightmare and young people’s big night out – let’s help them survive.

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