At our last meeting, the Shire Accords agreed to donate $2000 to the Your Choice Program. But, what is the Your Choice program and why did the MLA choose to get involved?
What is the Your Choice program?
‘Your Choice is a NSW Police Force alcohol diversion program aimed at persons under the age of 18 years. Rather than pursuing formal legal processes for incidents involving intoxication and/or the illegal possession or consumption of alcohol, police can issue the young person with a referral to the Your Choice program. The Your Choice program seeks to challenge perceptions about underage drinking and excessive consumption of alcohol and to educate young people about the health, legal and social consequences of drinking. It also aims to enhance the capacity of parents/guardians to influence their child’s behaviour and attitudes towards drinking.’
The Your Choice program operates as a two hour face to face education seminar that young people attend with a parent or guardian. Designed and run by police, with the assistance of expert drug and alcohol workers, this program provides practical strategies to keep safe and avoid risks, all by developing better attitudes and behaviours around alcohol.
The Your Choice program is also available as a 30 minute online education program. In a fun and interactive way, there are a range of issues covered, including:
- Your health
- How do I measure up?
- Face the facts
- What’s a standard drink?
- Drinking and my brain
- Drinking and my body
- Mixing it up
- Where to go for help
Why did the MLA choose to support Your Choice?
‘Your Choice is a prevention strategy with the long-term objective of assisting young people to take responsibility for their inappropriate and harmful consumption of alcohol leading, ultimately, to a reduction in the incidence and extent of heavy episodic drinking and associated harmful behaviours. This donation goes towards maintaining the program in our local area and educating our youth about the health, legal and social consequences of drinking.’
The reason the MLA is supporting this program is simple; it aligns with our mission to keep our community safe from alcohol related offences, in and around licensed premises and where we can, prevent these problems occurring in the first place.