Free community courses launched to help lower alcohol consumption in over-50s

Posted on: 7 September 2015

Learn Devon is to launch a series of free courses and workshops for the over-50s across Devon in September to find out if community learning can help lower alcohol consumption in this age group.

Devon County Council’s adult education service has teamed up with Drink Wise, Age Well – a programme aiming to prevent alcohol-related harm in the over-50s – to offer the courses.

The initiative will test whether the benefits of community learning, such as creating social networks, getting out of the house and developing new skills, can build resilience and prevent people over 50 turning to alcohol to cope with difficult life changes commonly faced at this age, such as retirement, bereavement, loneliness and isolation.

The range of one-day workshops and six-week courses, in subjects like arts, crafts, cooking and outdoor learning, will be free to attend and will take place at centres across the county. They will be open to everyone over 50. Booking will be essential for the six-week courses and advisable for the one-day workshops as places will be limited. Representatives from Drink Wise, Age Well will be on hand at all sessions to offer information and advice.

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learn Devon, said:

“One of our priorities in Devon is to create connected, resilient, healthy communities, and I am delighted Learn Devon and Drink Wise, Age Well have joined forces to help us achieve this aim.

“We know that adults who learn throughout their lives are healthier, happier and have greater self-esteem, so I look forward to seeing the results of this project. With a range of free courses and workshops on offer around Devon, I encourage all those over 50 to get involved.”

Stephanie Chivers, Locality Manager at Drink Wise, Age Well, said:

“We at Drink Wise, Age Well-Devon are really excited about our collaboration with Learn Devon. This is a great opportunity for us to bring together our collective expertise and provide the general public with new activities and opportunities to learn, enabling them to create new social circles while gaining new skills.”

According to Drink Wise, Age Well, the biggest increase in health harms caused by alcohol in recent years has occurred in the over-50 population. These harms include poor sleep, anxiety, memory problems, injuries from falling, heart problems and cancers, including breast cancer.

To find out about courses and workshops in your area, visit, call MyDevon on 0345 155 1014 or email

Posted in: Community | Health and Wellbeing