Case Study

Community Action on Alcohol Project 2020 - Ashburton Community Alcohol and Drug Service (ACADS), Ashburton

 What issue did you act on?

Supporting safer environments within the community to reduce drink driving in Ashburton.

How did you act?

This is the 29th year of our Community Action on Alcohol Project for the Ashburton Community Alcohol and Drugs Service - ACADS.

We are working with community partners to:
• reduce injury or death related to driving while under the influence
• share clear and consistent, evidence-based information
• to ensure data is available to report on progress
• support community initiatives that promote safe environments and
• work with licensees to ensure managers and staff are aware of their legal obligations and implement effective interventions to communicate low risk drinking messages to drinkers and hosts.

ACADS met with community partners - St John, Ashburton District Council Road Safety, ACADS Health Protection and Health Promotions Officer and an Accord member representative to plan and design the project. We agreed to adapt a project that had run in the UK to local settings.

  • We contracted a local graphic designer and developed several resources that were approved by the planning group including posters, billboards, key rings, and media promotions.
  • We hosted a launch event with invited guests including the Mayor, Police and A & E staff; provided media publicity and ran a billboard and poster campaign. We ran this campaign over the summer months when our higher rates of injury/death road crashes are known to be occurring.
  • We targeted young women in the 15 – 35 year age bracket as we noted an increase of females in the past 2 years involved in both serious and minor crashes. This contrasted with previous years when we needed to be focused on rural men, during summer contracting season.

What worked well?

  • Having our Health Protection Officer take the lead when they have such a strong working relationship with licensees and community groups was greatly beneficial.
  • Getting consensus on graphics took patience but the final result one everyone had contributed to and were satisfied with.
  • Increasing knowledge and inspiring change within the local community would be key outcomes for us.

What did not work well?

  • Extraordinary events with COVID meant larger scale community events such as the A & P Show and the Methven Rodeo which would have offered opportunity to engage and connect with our more rural community were cancelled.
  • Our booking with a local supermarket to promote 0 % alcohol and distribute resources was taken by a commercial operator at short notice which was a disappointment as we had undertaken promotions there previously and had great conversations with customers and felt it was very worthwhile.

 Top tips for others we learnt from this experience

  • Plan, plan, and plan!
  • Know the outcomes you are looking for, consult and collaborate with community partners.
  • Refresh and review data to ensure campaigns are current and getting to the audience you are interested in each time.
  • Have patience when collaborating with others to ensure the final result is a good one.

Links to resources

ACADS 'Deadly Cocktail' A3 Poster SEP20 HI RES.pdf

ACADS 'Deadly Cocktail' Keyring  43x28 NOV20.pdf

PDF version: Community Action on Alcohol Project 2020 - Reducing drink driving in Ashburton.