Beacon Counselling Trust are helping to promote Dry January which is organised by alcohol Concern.

What is Dry January?

DRINKERS are being challenged to go dry in January as part of a campaign that aims to confront a health crisis caused by alcohol misuse.

Maybe you should give it a go. Sign up to Dry January and give your body a breather. Feel better. Save money. Make a difference. Your chance to ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline, save the pennies and treat yourself. You can also make a real difference to the lives of those harmed through alcohol misuse by raising money.

Dry January is a new type of challenge: to stay off booze for 31 days. Sound tough?

Your mission: to avoid that cheeky after work pint, that glass of wine on the sofa, or that big boozy night out, for the whole month.

Make a real difference to the lives of those harmed through alcohol misuse and get family and friends to sponsor you and raise money for Alcohol Concern.

Why is it important?

Over 10 million of us currently drink more than the recommended guidelines, with 2.6 million of us drinking more than twice the recommended limit every week. Drinking even a bottle or two of wine over the guidelines each week can have serious health implications. Most of us will have a drink at Christmas and why not, it’s Christmas after all! But overdoing it takes its toll on your body, wellbeing and wallet. Give yourself a break for a 31 days in January to reset your energy levels and start the New Year with your best foot forward. If you feel can’t start on the 1st of January because of the family party on the Saturday then start your 31 days the next day.

What are the benefits?

Imagine waking up at the weekend feeling full of beans and ready to take on the world! Going hangover free will mean a rejuvenated start to 2014. With better sleep and fewer headaches you might even find some spare time to try out a new hobby or sport. On top of that there lots of health benefits to having a break from booze, your skin may glow a bit brighter and hair quality improves. As a single drink can contain hundreds of calories you could also start to reduce your waistline. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll save a small fortune and be able to treat yourself at the end of the month. Go on you deserve it!

How do I sign up?

To sign up go to www.dryjanuary.org.uk. On the Dry January site you will be able share your experiences with all the other people going dry, as well as get tips on things to do during the month. If you are raising funds you’ll be able to click through to the fund raising pages. You can also choose to opt out of all communication with the campaign if you wish.

Do I have to fundraise?

Fundraising is entirely optional. Dry January is primarily about giving your body a break and taking some time out to think about your drinking. However, you could make yourself feel even more saintly by making a difference to the lives of those harmed through alcohol misuse by raising money for Alcohol Concern. Friends and family understand that giving up booze can be quite a challenge and are likely to sponsor you if you complete the month or you could also make a donation from all the

money you will have saved. Knowing that if you stick with giving up, you’ll benefit a lot of people will also help you stay motivated.

Do I have to donate money to Alcohol Concern?

Alcohol Concern have used their own funds to put the campaign together. Therefore you can only take part in Dry January as a way of raising funds of Alcohol Concern and you cannot choose to raise money for any other charities using our materials, website, branding, social media pages or any other resources.

What will Alcohol Concern do with the money raised?

The money you raise will helps us towards our goal of creating a world free from alcohol harm. We campaign to protect children and young people from the harm caused by alcohol. Your donations help us conduct research and promote our findings that create awareness for the need for more effective alcohol policy. We work with the Government, private sector, local authorities, NHS and local alcohol charities to improve the help available for people with an alcohol problem. Alcohol Concern is a registered charity (No.291705) with offices in London and Cardiff.

Do I have to use Virgin Money Giving for sponsorship?

No, Virgin Money Giving is just one option for raising money. You can also create a page for Dry January on JustGiving. The fees charged by Virgin Money Giving are less than those charged by JustGiving, meaning that more of your donation makes it to Alcohol Concern. But you can use whichever site you feel more comfortable with. You can also post cheque donations to Alcohol Concern, Suite B5, West Wing, New City Cloisters, 196 Old Street, London EC1V 9FR. If you prefer to send us a direct bank transfer, please send to account number 00019271 and sort code 40-52-40, with the reference Dry January. Please drop us an email saying you’ve sent in a donation so we know who to thank! If you have any further questions about donations, please email dryjanuary@alcoholconcern.org.uk.

How will you communicate with me during the campaign?

We will send out a weekly email giving you tips and suggestions on drinking alternatives to help you to stick to your challenge. You can also choose to opt out of all communication with the campaign if you so wish.

What if I have a moment of weakness?

Well, that’s very naughty. To get all the benefits you really should try to see the whole month through but if the worst happens and you crumble, you could make a donation to assuage your guilt… It’s not the end of the world. We’re not going to be snooping on people or telling them off, so just get back on the wagon if you fall off!

How does the workplace challenge work?

It is estimated that around 200,000 thousand people go to work with a hangover every day costing the economy around £6.4 billion each year. Organisations can sign up to Dry January or encourage staff to voluntarily sign up individually. Dry January is a great opportunity to promote healthy workplace messages. For example, signed up organisations could consider substituting alcohol at work social events throughout the month. Staff could organise into team competitions to see who can save the most units or raise the most money etc…

When is the campaign being launched?

The campaign is officially being launched on Friday 9th November. It will then be promoted again during the week of 19th November which is Alcohol Awareness Week, which is organised by Alcohol Concern. It will be promoted via Twitter and Facebook

Can I undertake local or media work to promote my involvement?

If you are taking part as an individual or an organisation, we’d be pleased if you promote this in the press, but there is an embargo, which means that no media activity can take place before our official launch date of Friday 9th November. Unfortunately we will not be able to undertake local media work on your behalf but if you would like a quote for local media work from the Dry January campaign then please contact Emma Conroy, Press Officer, Alcohol Concern at econroy@alcoholconcern.org.uk or 0207 566 9803.

Do organisations have to fundraise?

Fundraising is entirely optional but it is a good way to motive staff. It is important that if funds are raised it is only for Alcohol Concern that manages Dry January. To get set up go to www.dryjanuary.org.uk and click through to the fundraising pages.

What if I have more questions?

Please contact Alcohol Concern using the email address dryjanuary@alcoholconcern.org.uk or call 0207 566 9800.