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The evolution of an asset-based community led alcohol harm intervention in the North West England

Cook, PA; Ure, CM; Hargreaves, SC; Burns, EJ; Coffey, M; Audrey, S


SC Hargreaves

S Audrey



Communities in Charge of Alcohol (CICA) is an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) place-based approach to reducing alcohol harm. Local volunteers, from areas with multiple indicators of deprivation, train to become accredited 'Alcohol Health Champions' (AHCs). AHCs, supported by a local co-ordinator, provide brief opportunistic advice at an individual level and mobilise action on alcohol availability through influencing licensing decisions at a community level. CICA is the first programme we are aware of globally that has attempted to build local AHC capacity. Here we explore lessons learned from four case study areas (of the original ten) that persisted with the intervention for more than 12 months.


A case study approach to investigate the context, acceptability, facilitators and barriers to maintaining CICA. Descriptive analysis of ongoing recruitment of champions, numbers of training events and activity of champions (as reported by area coordinators). Framework analysis of interviews with AHCs and stakeholders.


CICA has increased public health capacity by training 123 AHCs in its first year. The four areas that continued with CICA have trained a further 34. The different approaches in the four areas include: embedding champions in wider health champion/volunteering projects; innovative use of new technology (portable fibroscan); expansion into different geographical areas. AHCs and coordinators report significant social value from participation in CICA.


The likelihood of embedding CICA into a local area's activities appeared to be dependent on the energy and enthusiasm of the local area's co-ordinator, and may be dependent on that individual remaining in post. ABCD programmes may be more likely to be sustainable if capacity building is supported. CICA might be more sustainable if it was embedded in a wider programme of ABCD, since health issues are interrelated and AHCs often wish to broaden their portfolio.

Key messages

A volunteer alcohol health champions programme increased public health capacity in areas of social deprivation by utilising the assets (skills) of local people.

Embedding a community alcohol health champions programme in a wider programme of asset based community development is more sustainable and allows champions to broaden their volunteering portfolio.


Cook, P., Ure, C., Hargreaves, S., Burns, E., Coffey, M., & Audrey, S. (2020). The evolution of an asset-based community led alcohol harm intervention in the North West England. European Journal of Public Health, 30(Sup. 5), v690.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Sep 30, 2020
Publication Date Sep 30, 2020
Deposit Date Oct 21, 2020
Journal European Journal of Public Health
Print ISSN 1101-1262
Electronic ISSN 1464-360X
Publisher Oxford University Press
Volume 30
Issue Sup. 5
Pages v690
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information Additional Information : ** Article version: VoR ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router **Journal IDs: pissn 1101-1262; eissn 1464-360X **History: published_online 30-09-2020; issued 01-09-2020; published 01-09-2020 **License for this article: starting on 01-09-2020, ,
Access Information : This is a published abstract of a presentation given at 16th World Congress on Public Health (WCPH2020), held 12th–16th October 2020. The published version of the abstract can be accessed for free using the link above.