Thursday, 27 August 2009


YWCA is delighted to announce that Professor Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, has agreed to be the keynote speaker at their ‘Women Finding Solutions to Binge Drinking’ conference.

“We are really excited that Professor Gilmore has agreed to speak” says Sarah Payne, Chief Executive YWCA.

“He is known to be passionate about tackling the problems of excessive drinking and the expertise he will share with delegates will be invaluable”.

Professor Gilmore joins an authoritative group of morning speakers including Sara Thornton, the Chief Constable of Thames Valley; Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware and Don Shenker, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern.

The afternoon workgroups will be chaired by Emma Reynolds from Tesco; Wulf Livingston from the British Association of Social Workers; Helga Swidenbank from Bronzefield Prison and Olivia Bailey from the National Union of Students.

Professor Gilmore is an outspoken critic of the increase in binge drinking among young women and the serious health risks associated with it, such as chronic liver disease and unwanted pregnancies.

Accepting the invitation to be keynote speaker, Professor Gilmore said: “I am pleased to be given the opportunity to really explore what messages young women might be more receptive to so that we can turn this tide of alcohol related health harm. Alcohol is our favourite drug, and it is distressing to see young women pressured into misusing it.”

Over 600 organisations have been contacted. They cover a wide range of involvement around the issue and are not just those normally associated with finding solutions to alcohol abuse. Those invited include for example parenting and grand-parenting organisations, organisations that provide alternative activities to drinking and those concerned about the health of the unborn baby.

“This conference is quite different to other conferences on alcohol abuse” says Sarah, “Not only have we attracted speakers across the spectrum of alcohol use/abuse but we are also hoping that up to 10 per cent of the audience will be young women who use our services and have their own opinions on the issue.

With such a wide range of interested parties this conference will, I am sure, encourage alternative thinking on the issue and offer innovative solutions to tackle one of the most complex social and health problems we face today.”

The conference will be held on Wednesday, 21st October 2009 at Central Hall, Westminster, London. Further details are available on

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