Drinking Discussion Groups

As part of our work at Healthy Shetland looking at the effects of alcohol in Shetland (both positive and negative) we want to understand more about drinking in Shetland to get a better idea of the bigger picture of alcohol culture. I'm holding some focus groups across Shetland over the next couple of months and I need volunteers to take part, either as colleague/friend groups or as individuals.

Who am I?

Lucy Flaws - I'm part of the Health Improvement Team, and am in charge of the "Drink Better" project looking at alcohol culture in Shetland.

What do I do?

Part of our job is to look at the effects of alcohol in Shetland - from individual effects on physical and mental health, effects on relationships and families, and effects on communities and society. These can be positive and negative effects - we want to try and improve Shetland's relationship with alcohol so that we see more of the positive, and less of the negative.

What do you want me to do?

We want you to sign up to come along to a group near you. This will involve coming for around 90 minutes to 2 hours and chatting about alcohol with a group of 5-10 other volunteers, I'll ask some questions and provide some background information, but mostly I'm looking for you to discuss among yourselves. We'll be looking at how drinking is different in different areas, in different age groups, within families and friendship groups, how drinking has changed over the years, what people's thoughts on drinking in Shetland are - is there a problem? Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Is there anything you'd like to be different?

I'll record the discussion so I can write it up later but it will all be anonymously written up, and we'll ask everyone in the group to respect each others privacy - you don't have to share any personal experience or your drinking habits unless you wish to.

You don't need to have any previous experience, we need people of all ages, from all kinds of backgrounds, you don't have to have a particular attitude to drinking - we need drinkers, non-drinkers, occassional drinkers, ex-drinkers, tee-totallers. Everyone's voice is important and it would really help us if you could take part.

Why should I do that?

These focus groups will help us understand more about alcohol culture in Shetland. We can only get so much information from statistics and figures - we want to see the bigger picture. This better understanding will help us towards improving Shetland's relationship with alcohol, so that we see less of the negative effects. By volunteering a couple of hours you could make a real difference to the health of Shetland in the future.

What now?

If you're interested in taking part, or would like more information, get in touch with me on L.flaws@nhs.net or call 01595 807497.

If you want me to come to your workplace to do a group, or want to host a group of your friends, let me know. If you wouldn't be comfortable speaking in a group but would rather do a one-to-one discussion let me know and I should be able to arrange this.