Tuesday, 14 July 2009


Beer goggles, television shows and painted faces were some of the innovative methods used on the Getting Connected course at YWCA Cwmafan, aimed to inform young women about the risks of drugs and alcohol.

The girls, aged 11-16, had to wear blurred beer goggles while attempting activities such as picking up keys, ringing for help or pretending to drive a car to show them the dangers of excessive drinking.

They also acted out scenarios from Newsnight and The Jeremy Kyle Show where they re-enacted and debated alcohol and drug-related situations.

The painting faces activity was to show their potentially gruesome appearance under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The Getting Connected course aimed to change young women’s views about binge drinking and show them the realities of substance abuse. According to the 2008 Children and Young People’s Well Being Monitor for Wales , 40 percent of 15 year olds in Wales are reported to drink alcohol on a weekly basis.

Kathryn Evans, 15, was one of the young women taking part: “It was weird when we wore the beer goggles and were seeing double. It’s definitely made me realise that I shouldn’t drink to such excess and I’m more aware of how dangerous alcohol is.”

Helen Williams, YWCA Cwmafan’s centre manager said: “This has been an extremely rewarding course as the young women have discovered the negative side effects of binge drinking. Through role-play and fun activities, they have learned more about drugs and alcohol than they would have if we had bombarded them with loads of information.”

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