We’re thrilled to announce that The Alcohol Education Trust (AET) will be building a community space, café and office on the Great Field at Poundbury in 2019. For the last ten years, the AET have operated out of a garden garage in Frampton. This has been excellent in that overheads have been tiny, enabling the AET to spend very high proportions of every penny raised on its work across the UK. Over the last decade, the AET has supported over 1000 schools, youth and sports clubs and ½ million children EACH year with its training, resources and regionally based experts free of charge – at a cost of under 50p a child.

2019 is the 10th Anniversary of the Alcohol Education Trust and the charity has been given the wonderful opportunity to build a café, community/training space and office in a park setting in an area with 33% social housing. It is the second most deprived area in West Dorset, yet few would guess that this was Poundbury.

At present there is no youth provision on Poundbury and the AET will be providing an important community space with a priority for youth in a parkland setting. Older teenagers will be attracted to the park through the provision by The Duchy of Cornwall of a Parkour area for free running, there is also a football and cricket pitch. The AET will be providing public loos for those using the park and, to ensure that the building is revenue-generating for the charity, a café forms part of the cricket style pavilion building. The café will be family orientated and will offer youth employment and training opportunities.

Ben Murphy, Estate Director for Poundbury, commented: “The Duchy of Cornwall is delighted to see the Alcohol Education Trust is well on its way to securing the funding required to build a Pavilion on the Great Field in Poundbury, opposite the new play facilities and Parkour equipment the Duchy will be installing in late spring 2019. The results of our public consultation told us there were not enough facilities or activities for young people on this side of Dorchester and so we welcome this opportunity for the AET to become established in Poundbury, in a facility that will provide space for youth groups and the wider community to hire. The community also told us they would like to see Public WC’s on Poundbury, and this building will also provide those facilities.”

Sir Oliver Letwin MP for West Dorset commented: “The AET is doing absolutely marvellous work, and has proved its worth in rigorous independent evaluations over a considerable period. Its sensible and pragmatic approach to reducing the risk of excessive alcohol consumption genuinely affects the way in which young people approach the use of alcohol. This can really change lives for the better. It will be wonderful for them to have a sustainable and versatile space on The Great Field on Poundbury.”

Philip Fry, Managing Director, C G Fry & Son Ltd. “With our long relationship with Poundbury it is great to be helping the Alcohol Education Trust in providing this building on the Great Field. This charity provides a very valuable service to the area and beyond and this building will help give them a proper office and at the same time provide a valuable community youth space within the central park of Poundbury. So much dedication goes into getting these projects off the ground and my congratulations goes out to all those involved.”

Helena Conibear CEO of The Alcohol Education Trust commented “The Alcohol Education is half way to raising the £120,000 needed to finance the build of ‘Pavilion in the Park’. CG Fry builders are supporting us by generously building at cost, making this an achievable and sustainable project for us. The Alice Ellen Cooper Dean Charitable Trust have just made a wonderful contribution of £10,000 taking us to our half way fund raising mark. This does not include fixtures and fittings such as chairs and tables or flooring.

Over the next sixth months we need to raise £60,000. We will be applying for some grants and will be holding a Midsummer 10th Anniversary fundraising Ball on the 22nd June at the Grade 1 listed Moreton House, Dorset. We would be most grateful for Promises for the Auction and are seeking sponsors for the evening. We do hope lots of people would like to be involved.  To learn more please email helena@alcoholeducationtrust.org.”