For the second year in a row, Lewisham Council and members of the Safer Lewisham Partnership carried a campaign to raise awareness about health risks related to excessive alcohol drinking.
Campaigners and volunteers of “Save Dave” flocked to Deptford high-street to give out information, free advice and orientation about safer drinking. Local residents could also get material about health issues and advice on how to stop smoking.
It is estimated that around 29,000 people in the borough are drinking alcohol at levels that are harmful to their health. Lewisham has one of the highest levels of alcohol-related hospital admissions in London, with many cases being are for accidents caused due to alcohol consumption.
Robinson Alcantara, 28, said: “All the problematic situations in Lewisham are consequence of people smoking or drinking. I think they are doing a really good job with this campaign and they should do it more often and in other areas of the city.”
Dominic Fontinelle, 68, said: “It’s a good campaign because a lot of us walk around unaware or ignoring what’s happening because we think it doesn’t affect us. But it does and hopefully campaigns like this will be successful in that matter.”
Cora Mondesir said: “the only solution is to get people where they can take their minds of the drinking. If they are more aware of the dangers, they would not try to be more like their friends who are drinking. When you get addicted it affects a lot of things; it can break off the family structure. Everything has to be done in moderation”.
How to recognise a “Dave” in your community?
– He really loves to drink. In fact he’d feel lost without one.
– He always says: “It helps me cope with the pressure of life”.
– He always buys the first round.
– He usually buys the last one too.
– He hates to see a drink half finished, so he’ll finish it himself.
– His drinking is getting out of control but he won’t see the effect it’s really having.
As it can be read in of the leaflets handed out by the campaigners: “Everyone knows a ‘Dave’. He could be a member of your family or a friend. He could be you. We have to save Dave”.
Video by Mohammed Al Kawari