In a bid to tackle the reasons for binge drinking amongst teenagers, YWCA is holding a unique conference this autumn. They plan not only to invite professionals involved in the issue but also young women to explore solutions to the problem.
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 believe that no one person or organisation has the solution and so we hope that by bringing together so many interested parties, including concerned members of the public, we will be able to provide effective solutions.” says Sarah Payne, Chief Executive YWCA.
“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.
“We hope that by bringing together so many interested parties, including young women, we will be able to explore all angles of the problem and be think through some effective solutions which will then be taken forward to Ministers.” says Sarah Payne.
The conference will be held at Central Hall, Westminster , London on Wednesday 21st October 2009. Booking a place and further information can be obtained at www.ywca.org.uk.