WEARSIDERS have taken up the challenge of ditching drink for the new year.
People across the city have signed up to the Dry January challenge in a bid to shun booze for 31 days and make a healthy start to 2014.
City figureheads have backed the public health campaign, hoping it will give people a chance to re-evaluate their views on drinking during their month on the wagon.
Councillor Graeme Miller, the cabinet member responsible for health at Sunderland City Council, said: “I hope this campaign will help raise awareness and get more people thinking about reducing their own and other people’s consumption levels.
“We need everyone to be aware that there is help and support available if they do have problems with alcohol, or if they need their questions answered on how excessive drinking can affect people’s lives.
“I am delighted to add my support to the campaign, which will help us promote our long-standing commitment to helping people in our city to improve their health and wellbeing.”
Others taking part in the campaign include Sunderland’s director of public health, Nonnie Crawford, and the North East alcohol office Balance.
Colin Shevells, director of Balance, said: “New year is the perfect time to take stock of our health, particularly how much alcohol we are drinking, and accepting the challenge posed by Dry January is a fantastic way to reconsider our usual attitudes towards alcohol.”
Those taking part in Dry January can also collect money for the charity Alcohol Concern, and raise awareness of the problem of alcohol misuse.
To get involved, go online and visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk.