We’re pleased to announce that Keele University and Keele SU have successfully obtained SOS-UK Drug and Alcohol Impact accreditation.
Drug and Alcohol Impact was launched in 2020 as the only accreditation programme in the UK addressing both alcohol and drug use by students. This programme supports universities and students’ unions to not only embed social norms of responsible drinking on campus but refocuses the conversation on drugs away from zero tolerance towards reducing harm.
We’re pleased to announce that after joining the programme in November 2020 Keele University and Keele SU have achieved SOS-UK’s Drug and Alcohol Impact Accreditation.
Highlights of their work:
· The upcoming creation of the Student Drug and Alcohol Advisor roles which will offer an additional form of support for students who may be struggling with drug and/or alcohol use. These roles were created by the partnership after listening to their students, with 50% saying in a recent survey that they would turn to peers for support with drug and/or alcohol-related issues. These roles will be a valuable asset in supporting students.
· The university and students’ union have demonstrated a whole-institution approach by jointly creating and publishing a harm reduction statement and a harm reduction policy focusing on the wellbeing of their students. One student auditor commented “Keele is putting their students first.”
· As part of Mental Health Awareness week, Keele University and Keele SU produced proactive communications on the relationship between drugs and mental health, giving students information to make informed decisions.
· Additionally, Keele SU have achieved Best Bar None accreditation and continue to offer staff training associated with this.
SOS-UK trained Keele University student volunteers to audit their institution.
One student auditor said “I think the partnership is leaps and bounds ahead of other institutions and the only barriers they have struggled with is external.”
Another student auditor said “The vision that the partnership has and the harm reduction approach is excellent. The push to educate students and the strive to make them aware of the services available to them all in hopes to better their mental health and experience at the university is exemplary. The passion to do so is very clearly seen from staff. while this may be case a lot of work is needed to make this vision a reality.”
“We are proud to be an accredited member of the SOS Drug and Alcohol Impact pilot programme.
Being accredited demonstrates that we have a successful partnership between Keele University and Keele SU in how we approach our commitment to supporting students that have substance misuse support needs.
We have developed close links with both internal and external partners, and we are committed to working together on future initiatives .
We see the accreditation as being the start of a journey and we continue to look at ways that we can provide the right support to our students.”
(Kara McEnaney & Neil Whitehurst, Co-Chairs Keele University Drug & Alcohol Steering Group)
Congratulations to all those involved in the Drug and Alcohol Impact programme, a great achievement!