Alcohol Concern was formed in 1984 as the national umbrella body for the alcohol field. It was incorporated as a charity in 1985 to be the national agency on alcohol misuse, covering the United Kingdom. Members and Trustees are drawn from all regions, but in practice the focus has rested on the Westminster Government, as devolution has progressed.
Aims and Objectives
Alcohol Concern is the national agency on alcohol misuse. Alcohol Concern works to reduce the incidence and costs of alcohol-related harm and to increase the range and quality of services available to people with alcohol-related problems and their families. Alcohol Concern acts as the national umbrella body for local agencies tackling alcohol related harm and offers help to families and friends of those with alcohol problems. The organization promotes and advises on the development of national alcohol policy, promotes best practice locally and raises public awareness of alcohol issues.
Alcohol Concern is the principal information source on alcohol harm.
- Campaigning to reduce alcohol harm: Since its launch in 1984, Alcohol Concern has campaigned for effective national policies to reduce alcohol harm. This has recently includede campaigning for and winning: a national alcohol strategy (2004), national public service agreements on alcohol (2007), above-inflation alcohol tax increases (2008), a minimum price on alcohol (under consultation, 2009) . Policy measures that we still call for include stable funding for alcohol services, tighter restrictions on alcohol advertising , a public health objective to be included under the Licensing Act and universal alcohol awareness training for all mainstream professionals.
- Policy Work: Alcohol Concern's policy development function covers nearly all alcohol-related issues and has seen us launch a variety of policy reports in recent years. Project and core staff carry out original research or use secondary research to examine an area of policy interest and develop recommendations. Policy reports link to campaign work on particular themes. Our reports are disseminated widely and are free to download.
- Information Function: Alcohol Concern's Information team serve a dual function of providing a public information service to anyone wishing to access alcohol information via our databaseas well as being responsible for editing, designing and disseminating all in-house publications. The team produce our quarterly membership magazine Straight Talk and AC News, our monthly free subscription information E-Bulletin. Alcohol Concern websites and factsheets are also updated and maintained by this team.
- Project Work: As a charity, Alcohol Concern is able to raise funds for discrete projects that help us meet our aims. Projects are sought to build capacity in the alcohol sector, carry out research, develop policy on areas of concern and develop innovation in solving particular problems. All projects have a budget for outcome evaluation and major projects have expert steering groups attached.
- Consultancy and Training: Alcohol Concern's consultancy and training service works across the UK to provide support to local and regional commissioners on alcohol initiatives. As well as a major provider of alcohol awareness, screening and brief interventions training for front line staff, the consultacy service undertakes alcohol needs assessments, strategy development ans treatment care pathways reviews.