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Eight new universities and students' union commit to a harm reduction approach

Tracy Lumb
May 15, 2024

SOS-UK is incredibly pleased to announce that we welcome eight new university and students’ union partnerships to Drug and Alcohol Impact in 2023-24. The new members include a diverse range of universities and students’ unions, each with its unique student culture and challenges relating to drug and alcohol use. These universities and students’ unions join their peers, who are leading the way in creating a holistic approach to alcohol and drug use.

Our research has shown that only 40% of students felt confident that if they turned to their university for support with drug use, it would be dealt with appropriately and 52% of students did not know of any responsible drinking campaigns, projects or activities at their university. These university and students’ union partnerships are working together to create healthier and inclusive cultures around drugs and alcohol.

This year we are thrilled to be working with thefollowing partnerships:

·       UWE Bristol and The Students’ Union at UWE

·       University of Leeds and Leeds University Union

·       Keele University and Keele Students' Union

·       Cardiff Metropolitan University and Cardiff Met Students' Union

·       Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester Metropolitan University Students' Union

·       Middlesex University London and Middlesex University Students' Union

·       Hartpury University and Hartpury Students’ Union

·       Aberystwyth University and Aberystwyth University Students' Union

·       University of Northampton and Northampton Students' Union

·       Queen’s University Belfast and Queen’s University Students' Union

·       Newcastle University and Newcastle University Students' Union

·       Bath Spa University and Bath Spa University Students’ Union

As we approach the audit of four of our partnerships, I look forward to seeing all they have achieved.

Some of the highlights already this year include:

·       The launch of the harm reduction commitment statement at the University of Northampton and Northampton Students’ Union.

·       The biggest Drug and Alcohol awareness week to date at Leeds University Union and University of Leeds. The event received lots of positive feedback from students and staff.

·       The launch of a new harm reduction comms campaign at the UWE Bristol and The Students’ Union at UWE.

·       The introduction of on-campus support appointments for substance use and staff training to administer Naloxone at Cardiff Metropolitan University and Cardiff Met Students’ Union.

·       The training of staff at Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester Metropolitan University StudentsUnion in drug awareness and responding to a disclosure of drug or alcohol use.

·      Planning underway for a student-led recovery group at Keele University.

·      Over five thousand students completed the annual student drug and alcohol survey.


“The University and Students’ Union are pleased to be part of the most recent Drugs and Alcohol Impact intake. As an institution we recognised the harms caused to students and the need for a change in approach nationally to better support students to recognise and change behaviours, guided by knowledge and evidenced interventions. The project has helped to provide a framework for us to work from and allow us to take the first steps in this process. We can’t want to see what is still to come as we progress!” Rosie Harvey Head of Membership services, Northampton Students’ Union.


For more information about the program and how to get involved please visit our website or contact tracy.lumb@sos-uk.org