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Drinkaware thrust under the microscope

Published:  11 July, 2012

The Drinkaware Trust's effectiveness in increasing awareness of alcohol harm will be put under the microscope thanks to a new independent audit.

Conducted by an Independent Review Panel, the audit will evaluate the activities and effectiveness of the Trust in meeting its original objectives, which were to positively change behaviour and attitudes towards harmful drinking. The results of the audit will influence the charity's strategy for the period to 2020.

Established at the request of the Drinkaware trustees, the panel will be chaired by Sir Hugh Taylor, chairman of the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and former permanent secretary at the Department of Health.

The other members of the panel are Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance; Jeremy Beadles, corporate relations director, Heineken UK and former chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association; Chris Heffer, deputy director alcohol and drugs, Department of Health; and Ben Page, chief executive, Ipsos MORI.

Taylor said: "This is a timely moment to carry out an independent audit of Drinkaware's effectiveness. The panel's role is to provide assurance that the audit is comprehensive, takes on board the views of key stakeholders and other key experts and is properly independent; and I believe it is well constituted for that purpose."

Drinkaware was established at the beginning of 2007 as an independent alcohol education charity, funded by cash donations and in-kind support from all sectors of the alcohol industry. It was the subject of an interim review in 2009, which resulted in wider commitments from the industry to fund the organisation.

The Trust has since achieved a high level of public awareness and its website now attracts over three million visitors a year.