Blackpool Better Start's new public health campaign ‘Be Your Baby’s Hero, Keep Alcohol to Zero’, is raising awareness of the dangers of drinking during pregnancy!
Our four superheroes represent the different people in an unborn baby’s life that have a collective responsibility for the health of that child. They will appear throughout the town on billboards, poster sites, phone kiosks and buses, as well as on social media!
Commenting on what it is like to front the campaign, Supermum, Rachel Rossie, - whose third child is due later this month - said: “When I saw that Better Start were looking for people to star in this campaign I wasn’t sure whether I should apply, but when I realised what the campaign was about I wanted to do it because it’s an important message. It’s something different for the baby book too!
“It will be strange to see myself on posters around town, and I’m sure I will soon hear from friends when they start spotting me. It’s exciting to think about!”
The new 12 month campaign, launching on the 3rd November 2018, features a local mum, dad, nan and best friend dressed as superheroes and aims to reduce the number of alcohol exposed pregnancies in Blackpool. It has been created following recent research that shows harm caused by alcohol in Blackpool is significantly higher than that of the national average, and is amongst the highest in the country.
Superdad, Paul Barraclough from Grange Park said: “It’s going to be quite weird to see myself on the posters around Blackpool and I’m sure my friends will have a good laugh when they see me. Like most people, I enjoy a drink now and again but I think it’s very important to support your partner not to drink during pregnancy. It’s an important message to get across and anything that benefits children is a good thing, so I’m glad I’ve been involved.”
Explaining the importance of the campaign, Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health at Blackpool Council said: “Blackpool Council as a partner in Blackpool Better Start, has worked with them to produce a new public health campaign to warn families of the impact of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The campaign will tackle the number of alcohol exposed pregnancies in the town, and will raise awareness of the impact of alcohol consumption in pregnancy. We know that in the past messages surrounding ‘safe’ alcohol limits during pregnancy have been confusing, and this campaign has been created to clarify that there is no safe amount.
“We now know that drinking during pregnancy can lead to learning difficulties, heart problems and permanent damage to a developing baby’s brain. We must be explicit in explaining to families that the only way to guarantee your baby is not exposed to alcohol harm is to avoid alcohol completely.”
Merle Davies, Director of Blackpool’s Centre for Early Child Development said: “We are incredibly excited to launch this campaign and hope that it has the intended impact of changing behaviour around drinking in pregnancy. We hope that using local people to champion the message of zero alcohol during pregnancy will resonate with the community and drive the message home more effectively.
“The strategy for the campaign follows extensive consultation with the community and was created around Blackpool Better Start’s ethos of social responsibility. It is not just the responsibility of pregnant women to reduce alcohol intake, it is also the responsibility of partners, grandparents, extended family and friends. This is the first Better Start public health campaign we have invested in, and we will be evaluating its success over the 12 months to ensure that it has the intended impact of giving Blackpool babies the best start in life.”