“Although our conference is for both men and women we hope that lots of women will attend” says Sarah Payne, Chief Executive of YWCA. “We want to hear what women think about the problems of binge drinking.”
The conference, ‘Women Finding Solutions to Binge Drinking’ is to be held on the 21st October 2009 at Central Methodist Hall, Westminster, London. The cost to delegates is £90 and includes coffees and lunch.
“We see more and more media coverage on the problems of binge drinking and especially young women who binge drink” says Sarah. “It is a problem but it is also important to know that there are less women drinking now than 10 years ago. The problem is that those who drink are drinking more. We need to find out why.”
The charity, which works with disadvantaged young women across England and Wales, is concerned that teenagers who drink excessively are being exposed to risky situations. These may lead to unwanted pregnancies, anti-social behaviour, injury, assault and death.
“We have been planning this conference for some time now. But the recent tragic deaths in Newquay have made us all realise the urgency of the problem. Young people will always want to experiment with alcohol but what we need to do is to find a safe way for them to do so. They also need to know that drinking to excess is not necessary for having a good time.”
A unique feature of the conference will be that about 10 per cent of the audience will be young women. They will be there to voice their opinions and experiences. YWCA is also currently carrying out research into why young women binge drink and how well they understand the risks .The results of this never carried out before research will be presented at the conference.
Speakers include representatives from the Police, the alcohol and retail industry, the NUS and the Prison Service. Representatives from over 400 organisations associated with the problem have been invited to attend as delegates.