20 May 2014
Students from The University of Manchester are campaigning against excessive alcohol consumption and hope their message goes viral.
And the team of first year biology students have just won an award from the University for their project which tasked students with the challenge of bringing biology into the local community.
Students Bethany Love, Katy Faulkner, Caroline Cahill, Portia Hollyoak, Aimee Parry, Annika Vik and Helen Feord launched the awareness campaign earlier this year on social media using Facebook and Twitter.
The project is designed to promote facts and figures on alcohol consumption using images and videos to engage its audience.
Bethany said the team came up with the idea, not to encourage students not to drink alcohol, but to advise them on over-drinking. She said: “We wanted to use social media to promote our campaign to young adults outside the University since it isn’t just students that overindulge with alcohol.
“While the majority of students are aware of the short term effects of excessive drinking, many are not aware or would rather not think about the permanent damage that can occur as a result of binge drinking.”
Aimee said: “The success of our project is clear from the popularity of our Facebook and Twitter pages, and the use of social media has enabled us to reach the attention of a wider audience than expected.”
Bethany added: “We are raising awareness and letting people know that you can go out and have fun with your friends, but you can also still be safe and not damage your health.
“Our ambition is that when people are searching online for information about anti-binge drinking, we want them to think of us. We think they will want to engage with the campaign because it is about students talking to other students and young people about the issues surrounding binge drinking.”
The campaign won the award for Best Community Project at the University’s recent Biology Project Symposium. Students taking part in the project were given to the task of bringing biology into the local community, and ideas ranged from fund-raising for charities to setting up/demonstrating topical information displays in primary schools and shopping centres.