TEENAGERS from South Tyneside have handed a petition to the Prime Minister, calling for tougher restrictions on alcohol sponsorship and advertising.
Pupils from Boldon School in New Road, Boldon Colliery, were among those who visited No10 Downing Street and spoke to MPs in the House of Commons as part of the See What Sam Sees campaign.
Run by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, the campaign highlights the role alcohol marketing plays in creating a pro-alcohol environment for children and young people to grow up in.
The young people told MPs, including South Shields’s David Miliband, how they feel alcohol advertising is affecting young people in the region.
They also discussed how it made them feel, with pupils saying they saw alcohol advertising on the television, YouTube, Facebook, bus stops, billboards and in magazines. Tyler Marriott, a Year 11 pupil from Boldon School, said: “I am glad to have been part of this group who are trying to make a difference.
“This has opened my eyes to the dangerous issue of alcohol, and a change is much needed in our society.”
Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “Sadly, we live in a society where alcohol is too heavily promoted, too available and too affordable.
“It has become a dangerous part of our culture and it is obvious that the next generation is already being influenced by alcohol marketing at an early age.”
Boldon School headteacher Liz Hayes said: “I was delighted that Boldon School students were involved in this project.
“Underage drinking is a major issue and I hope the innovative approach from Balance will help to tackle this problem.
“The students who went to London enjoyed the day and were a credit to themselves, their families and the school.”