Drink Work & Me – what’s it all about?

Sometimes people hear the phrase Drink, Work & Me and make a joke of it saying “Happy days I’m getting a drink at work”, other times people hear it and think “Oh no … another lecture”, add the name ‘Addiction NI’ (the lead partner in the delivery of the programme) and you can barely see through the smoke as people run for the door.

In truth, this is a programme aimed at raising awareness – giving those of us who enjoy a drink (or know people who drink alcohol) the facts about drinking alcohol including the good, the bad and the ugly.

Drink, Work & Me doesn’t encourage you to stop drinking altogether, it simply encourages you to keep yourself informed, raises awareness of your limits, how your body processes alcohol and when it’sDrink work and me_purple strapline safe to turn the key in your car the next morning. It’s about improving your health and wellbeing and knowing where to access support if it’s needed.

The programme creates a talking point about a subject many of us are keen to avoid, something we don’t recognise as a problem or something that we think doesn’t affects us. But can we be certain it doesn’t affect anyone we know? A colleague, a member of our family or our circles of friends? What about our employees, their family or friends?

If we think about it, we could probably identify at least one person we may be concerned about or someone we know is trying to cope with the effects of someone else’s drinking. How do we address the issue and support that person?

Drink Work & Me offers a range of services in the workplace, including training and awareness sessions for all staff, literature to take home/display in your workplace and the chance to talk to someone about you or someone else’s drinking. It provides practical advice on how to reduce the harmful effects of drinking too much and exceeding our recommended daily amounts.

This programme is free and available to all employers in the private sector, big or small. Several companies have already successfully completed the programme.

Here’s what Michelin had to say:

Our HR Manager heard about programme through Business in the Community and thought it was a good fit for our Engagement and Wellbeing programme. In a heavy manufacturing environment, we take working under the influence of alcohol very seriously. We didn’t have a specific site issue to tackle when we signed up for the programme, instead we wanted people to make better lifestyle choices and we believed educating our employees on safe drinking would be very beneficial. Business in the Community and Addiction NI presented the programme to the senior management team to get buy-in. There were some planning and logistical constraints so it was crucial to gain support across the organisation. We attended the Learning Network group along with other companies involved in the programme to help us get started and reviewed the training with the Drink, Work & Me team, agreeing a two hour training module plus additional support sessions if needed. We also launched initial communications and surveys on our intranet and internal TVs. Senior managers and line managers attended the training first so they knew what was involved for their teams. We had very positive feedback on the training. Some comments from the managers include:

“Best course I have been on in years.”

“Can’t believe how enjoyable that was, and I don’t even drink!”

“This helped persuade managers to support it and make sure their teams were given the chance to attend.’‘

“Overall we found the Drink, Work and Me programme to be extremely informative and enjoyable.”

“Participating in the programme shows your commitment to your employees as you’re providing them with education to enable them to make better decisions and to let them know they can ask for help if they need it.”

For more information or to sign up to the Drink, Work & Me programme, visit www.drinkworkandme.com or email deborah.mcconnell@bitcni.org.uk