NI Pupils Learn Lessons on Responsible Drinking

Pupils at St Joseph’s Boys School, Derry had a powerful lesson when they witnessed the reality of alcohol misuse played-out on-stage.

The pupils watched a performance of ‘Smashed’, a theatre alcohol awareness and education programme led by Collingwood Learning and sponsored by Diageo. Mark Durkan MP and Mark H Durkan MLA were also in attendance to watch the performance with the pupils.

The cast of ‘Smashed’ delivered a highly engaging show to pupils, telling the story of a group of friends whose misuse of alcohol ends in tragedy. The production explores the causes and consequences of alcohol misuse and helps equip students with tools for understanding and resisting peer influence and supports them in making responsible decisions.

An innovative programme, ‘Smashed’ was designed in consultation with young people and teachers.  It includes a live theatre piece delivered by three actors along with an interactive workshop, post-performance discussion and teaching resources endorsed by The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations, and Assessment in Northern Ireland.

‘Smashed’ has now visited 38 post primary schools across Northern Ireland covering the greater Belfast, Fermanagh, Londonderry/Derry, Strabane and Omagh areas.

St Joseph’s Head Teacher, Damien Harkin, said:

“The ‘Smashed’ programme portrays a very important message around responsible drinking. We have had a really positive response from students – everyone who watched the show was engaged by the power of the performance.  Having the cast of ‘Smashed’ come into our school and help to inform and educate our young people around this important issue is an opportunity that we value.”

Jorge Lopes, Country Director, Diageo Northern Ireland, which sponsors the ‘Smashed’ programme said:

“We believe in educating young people to help them make informed decisions about alcohol consumption in the future. ‘Smashed’ forms part of our broader programme of activities to tackle alcohol misuse and to date the tour has reached 4,250 pupils in 38 local post primary schools.  We have had a really positive response from the schools we have visited – both from the teachers and pupils – and look forward to bringing the programme back again in 2017.”