Kick-start 2017 with a booze-free month

Coun Susan Dungworth, Sue Taylor, from Balance, and Penny Spring, director of public health.
Coun Susan Dungworth, Sue Taylor, from Balance, and Penny Spring, director of public health.

Balance has joined forces with Northumberland County Council to challenge people to start 2017 by ditching the booze for 31 days.

Alcohol Concern’s Dry January, now in its fifth year, asks people to put the excesses of the festive period behind them and start 2017 with a fresh, healthy approach.

Alongside the county council and partners around the region, Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, is promoting the many alcohol-free activities and attractions to enjoy during a hangover-free January.

For the last three years, the North East has led the way in terms of the rate of Dry January sign ups, with the highest proportion of people taking up the challenge, compared to any other region in the country. It’s estimated that around two million people nationally attempted the challenge last year, with around 70,000 of these coming from the North East.

Balance is now calling on people across Northumberland to accept the Dry January challenge and help put the North East at the top of the table again.

Sue Taylor, partnerships manager at Balance, said: “At a time when we’ve all overdone it a bit at Christmas and we’re looking to start afresh in the new year, Dry January is the perfect way to take some time out from alcohol and feel better all round.

“Whatever your motivation for taking part, a break from alcohol for even just one month can have positive effects on our health, and, for many people, joining in Dry January encourages them to reassess their drinking habits and make positive long-term changes.”

Coun Susan Dungworth, cabinet member for adult care and public health, said: “We’re urging Northumberland residents to give it a try and enjoy all the benefits that reducing their alcohol intake will bring.”

To sign up to Dry January, find out more about the campaign and to access a wealth of support and advice, visit