Diageo’s anti-underage drinking programme in Northern Ireland

Now live in more than 15 countries SMASHED is a Diageo-funded anti-underage drinking programme for children aged 11+ with an ambition to address the culture of underage drinking around the world.

Case study

The educational, theatre-based programme is led by our expert partner Collingwood Learning and is expected to reach half a million young people world worldwide by July, 2018.

SMASHED first launched in the UK in 2005 reaching more than 333,000 pupils in over 1400 schools to date. The programme was designed in consultation with young people and teachers and is in 4 parts – a live theatre piece delivered by three actors, interactive workshop and post-performance discussions, pre-post evaluations and teaching resources designed for ongoing learning.

Diageo’s Anti-Underage Drinking programme in Northern Ireland

The programme recently completed a month long tour of Northern Ireland covering 38 schools and over 8,000 students. The feedback from pupils and teachers, as well as the politicians who visited schools in their local constituencies, was extremely positive. The schools were grateful to have Smashed offered as a resource given its alignment with Northern Ireland’s curriculum.

To measure the effectiveness of the intervention, students completed a questionnaire two weeks before the live presentation and workshop. This exercise was repeated after they had seen the show and taken part in the workshop. The two sets of results were compared to measure changes in responses to the questions asked as a result of the intervention.

Students who felt they knew a lot about the dangers of alcohol misuse increased by 33%. They also better understood and articulated the effects of alcohol on young people’s health. The percentage of young people who knew the legal age for buying alcohol increased by over 14% to 98%. There was a 6% increase in the number of students who understood the term ‘peer pressure’ with more of them learning strategies for resisting peer pressure around alcohol. 36% more students knew who to go to for help over alcohol issues.

Teachers were not left out of the conversation. 93% of teachers thought the programme explored issues pertinent to this age group with 97% believing the intervention has increased awareness of alcohol misuse amongst this age group. 100% of teachers would want the programme back next year.

“ We can now proudly say that we have taken Smashed to all of the education authority areas across Northern Ireland and have even revisited the Belfast Education Authority area for a second time. The fact that Smashed is being rebooked by schools who remember us from the last visit is fantastic. Smashed is a key part of our commitment to alcohol in society. It’s really helping us to support schools, communities and local politicians on a critical topic.”

Claire Hutchison

Corporate Relations Executive for Diageo Northern Ireland