A Helpful Nudge

UntitledA partnership between Blenheim and Club Soda aims to change drinking habits

A set of digital tools has been developed through a partnership between drug and alcohol charity Blenheim and peer community Club Soda. Nudging Pubs includes an online self-assessment, where customers can review and vote for local venues that support those wanting to drink less.

The accompanying Nudging pubs report shares findings from a year of research with venues in Hackney, looking at how pubs and bars can accommodate people who want to drink less alcohol. It gives a picture of venues that want to do more, but lack ideas, time and space to make changes.

The report also reveals poor information for customers on making healthier choices, including non-alcoholic options, and shows a lack of shared understanding of what ‘promoting sensible drinking’ means in local authority licensing policies.

‘We know that pubs and bars want to cater for the growing market of individuals drinking less alcohol, and we want to set the gold standard for what “good” looks like,’ said Laura Willoughby of Club Soda, which supports people to change their drinking, whether they want to cut down or stop. ‘Most importantly we want the customers to have the final say on which venues are the best. We think this product will do that.’

The initiative is being supported by Hackney Council, through their Healthier Hackney Fund, which helps organisations to test new ways of addressing major public health challenges.

‘We hope that this initiative will empower customers, as well as pubs and bars themselves, to talk more openly about the choices and opportunities for people who want to drink a bit less alcohol on a night out,’ said Penny Bevan, Hackney’s director of public health. ‘A quarter of 16 to 24-year-olds don’t drink, so this is about making licensed venues better for everyone.’

John Jolly, chief executive of Blenheim, welcomed the opportunity to innovate on a difficult issue. ‘The project is an exciting opportunity for us to work with new partners and develop new tools to promote behaviour change with a wider audience,’ he said.

www.nudgingpubs.uk and on Twitter @nudgingpubs