Youth Alcohol Awareness Project

Bottletop Alcohol Awareness Project

Young People Making Media About Alcohol Awareness

This project was designed to engage young people aged 15-24yrs to talk about and tell other young people about the risks and issues of drinking alcohol in excess. Sponsored and manged by the Bulmer Foundation, now Brightspace Foundation, part of the Heineken group.

Bottletop was an innovative project developed with 15-24 year olds in Herefordshire and designed to engage with an age-group that has received less focus in alcohol awareness during this critical period of achieving adulthood. It taps in to their creativity and experiences in developing an innovative approach of peer-led alcohol awareness education.

All of the content produced for the website comes through the facilitated work of young people and are their own ideas and words on the subject. The site may not be to everyone's liking or always be "on message" but Bottletop is true to the genuine voice of young people in Herefordshire.

The Bottletop Project came out of a drama project called Out Of It which was developed by Birmingham Based participatory theatre and drama company, The Playhouse and The Bulmer Foundation. My involvement started at begining of the project which aimed to turn a touring drama workshop into variuos forms of online media that could be put on a website.

I worked with groups of young people in order to find out how they thought that project should look online. This enabled me to shape the way that branding, logo, media content and finally website would look and perform. This process was done through an online survey and in focus groups.

The final scheme was shown at further meetings and tweaked accordingly. The branding proved to be popular and has beeen used throughout the project. The website was tweaked very slightly over the period of time that the project was running between 2008 to 2015, however it remains the way that the young people involved wantedit to look.

The main critera was that it should look 'different', 'eyecatching, and 'relevent' to young people. The media or 'Bottletops' are all accessible from the home page and indeed you do not need to leave the home page to access them. In the early days it utilised Flash Player, this was later converted to a HTML player allow use on Apple mobile devises which became more popular throughout the project. Social media was used, again as it's popularity grew as the project developed.

Young people were encouraged and assisted to make their statements in the form of 'Bottletops' in a range of different ways and media. Video and animation were popular choices, however audio, illustration and text were also used.

The project was highlighted within the Primary Care Trust's Public Health Report in 2011 and was awarded the Herefordshire High Sheriff's Award in 2013. is the end result, a website about alcohol awareness by young people for young people. It curremtly 'mothballed', however the website remains as a testiment to all the work that young people have put onto it.

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