James Maddern, Head of Engagement and Ethos at King Alfred’s, received a national award at the Houses of Parliament on 11 October, alongside Laura Warner of Thames Valley Police and Street Pastor Nigel Watt, for their work on tackling underage drinking in Wantage.
Fiona Bruce MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm, presented the trio with certificates for their work with the Wantage and Grove Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP).
The Wantage and Grove group was founded two years’ ago to tackle the problem of teenagers getting drunk in parks and on the streets around Wantage, making residents feel uncomfortable to walk in certain areas after dark.
Among its recent efforts, which Mrs Bruce called ‘innovative’, the group ran a competition at King Alfred’s asking pupils to design a stencil reminding adults not to buy alcohol for children. Year 9 student Jacob Creed won the competition and had the honour of spraying his stencil on the wall of Wantage Sainsbury’s.
Presenting an award to Mr Maddern for ‘excellence in education’, Mrs Bruce said: “Alcohol education is an integral part of the CAP approach, but it wouldn’t be possible without the involvement and support of local schools.
“When the Wantage and Grove CAP was launched in 2015 it struggled to engage with pupils – until James Maddern, Head of Engagement and Ethos at King Alfred’s Academy, got involved.
“James 100 per cent understands and believes in the aims of CAP. He knows the positive impact it has on individual pupils, classes, families, the school and community as a whole.”
Mrs Bruce also presented the CAP of the Year award to group chairman Mr Watt and Ms Warner was highly commended.
The occasion was a national celebration of the work of CAPs across the country.
Mrs Bruce added: “Wantage and Grove truly illustrates CAP’s philosophy of effective partnership working, bringing together a large range of organisations working for the good of their community.
Our heartiest congratulations to you, Mr Maddern!