Online alcohol service nominated for national award

 

A website that has helped hundreds of Croydon people to cut down on their drinking has been shortlisted for a gong in this year’s Tech4Good Awards.

The online alcohol service www.croydon.gov.uk/dontbottleitup is one of four finalists to be recognised in the digital health category for using digital technology to improve the lives of others by helping them understand how risky their drinking is and providing them with personalised resources to regain control.

Previous recipients of a Tech4Good award are the eminent scientist Stephen Hawking and Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia.

Croydon signed up to the Don’t Bottle It Up service in March, and the site has proved popular with residents. During its first month in operation, almost 700 local people completed the online audit, which is more uptake than any other area using the site during the same period.

The online portal offers a range of resources to help people reduce their drinking, including personalised reduction plans, information on units and calories, and links to local services. Future plans include the use of Skype, enabling people to talk to a specialist.

Last year, more than 14,700 people nationally took the online alcohol test, saving the wider health economy an estimated £800,000-plus, as fewer people needed serious treatment as a result of their drinking.

With voting closing on 30 June, people can vote for Don’t Bottle It Up to win the People’s Choice award via www.tech4goodawards.com/finalists/dont-bottle-it-up or by Twitter using the hashtag #T4GDontBottleItUp.

Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care

“Well done to Don’t Bottle It Up for being recognised as a great digital service offering free online support 24/7 to anybody seeking advice and information about their drinking.

“We’re pleased to have this online tool in Croydon to help our residents receive a simple, confidential health check on how risky their drinking habits may be.

“It also encourages people to make healthy lifestyle choices – and cutting back on the booze will help them to save money, too.”

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