Collier Row students participate in workshop on the dangers of underage drinking

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 March 2017

Smashed, a play about underage drinking being performed to students at the Bower Park Academy.

Smashed, a play about underage drinking being performed to students at the Bower Park Academy.


Peer pressure can be a major social issue for teenagers and can lead to them making bad decisions which could affect them in later life.

Thanks to a special workshop, on Wednesday, Year 8 students at Bower Park Academy, Havering Road, Collier Row, have been equipped with all the information they need, when it comes to underage drinking, to help them make right choices.

The students took part in an interactive workshop, which was delivered by Collingwood Learning and sponsored by Diageo, designed to be more engaging than your average classroom lesson.

Three actors performed a play, called Smashed, which was developed through consultations with young people to ensure the issues they felt were most relevant were brought to light.

Lindsay Richards, accountant director at Collingwood Learning, explained that the workshop is designed to clarify misconceptions about underage drinking so that students may have a better understanding.

“We’ve got to be realistic, young people are faced with the option of drinking alcohol at a younger age than 18 and not all young people are clear on what is legal and what isn’t because there’s some blurred lines around it.

“The thing they were mostly concerned about was peer pressure and how that has an effect on the choices you make. We all know those situations where you’re pressured by your friends – it’s not always easy to say no.”

Eddie Aylett, associate assistant headteacher, said that as part of the school’s spiritual, moral and cultural programme it invites workshops to deliver sessions on various issues and was impressed with how interested the pupils were.

“The students were fully engaged – it’s quite immersive because it’s done in a story form. It’s a nice open forum to have discussions and debates.”

Year 8 student Molly Hickman enjoyed the workshop and came away with a better understanding of the dangers of underage drinking.

She said: “Drama was a really great way of sharing the topic. I really understood the topic and the risks.”

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