Make mine a mocktail

Date published: 18 November 2013

Rochdale’s Health Chatters will be spreading the ‘think safe, drink safe’ motto this November.

The chatters are being challenged to talk with as many family members, friends, neighbours or just about anyone who loves a good gossip about alcohol.

The Health Chatters will be using Alcohol Awareness Week, taking place 18-24 November, as an excuse to start chattering.

Health chatters is a group of frontline professionals from different organisations who come into contact with members of the public on a regular basis through their day to day work. These volunteer chatters have received training from Rochdale Borough Council and Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust on how to broach the subject of alcohol sensitively and carry out a very simple screening to assess people’s alcohol risk. Depending on the level of risk identified, the chatters will offer some simple advice, try and identify the reasons for any potential alcohol misuse and signpost them into treatment services in the community.

Councillor Colin Lambert, Rochdale Borough Council Leader and portfolio holder for Health, said: “Alcohol is responsible for many early deaths and hospital admissions in our borough, as well as contributing to crime and disorder. Alcohol related-harm is therefore one of our strategic health priorities.

“With Christmas and New Year just around the corner it’s the time of year when we find ourselves having a tipple too many.

“We want people to think safe, drink safe over the festive period.”

To celebrate Alcohol Awareness Week and get people prepared for Dry January, booze-free cocktails will be served up by alcohol advisors.

The mocktails will be offered in various locations across the borough:

  • Number One Riverside, 10am -12pm, Tuesday 19 November 2013 
  • Heywood Sports Centre,1.30pm-3.30pm, Wednesday 20 November 
  • Middleton Arena, 10am-12pm, Thursday 21 November 

Anne Livesey, Alcohol Advisor at Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust, added: “Too many people are continuing to drink well in excess of the government’s daily recommended allowances.

“Throughout the week we will be encouraging people to consider swapping cocktails for ‘mocktails’, non-alcoholic drinks. We will also be signing people up for the Dry January challenge to banish the booze for 31 days.”

Dry January is a national campaign. By taking on the challenge health professionals are promising that challengers are sure to lose a few pounds while saving a few quid. And with no hangovers challengers should find they have more time and energy to do things they’ve never tried before to improve their health and wellbeing. To register for the Dry January challenge visit

Latest figures show that alcohol-related hospital admissions are falling across Rochdale borough. The rate of admissions between January and December 2012, the most recent data available, was 2471 per 100,000 population, a 9.6 per cent decrease on the previous year.

Anyone who would like advice on drug and alcohol problems, is asked to contact Renaissance on 01706 924883 for free, confidential advice.


Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online