Drink-free nightspot backed by Union

A new alcohol-free night event is to launch in Leeds next week, with the backing of the Leeds University Business School and LUU.

The night, called “incLucid”, is being launched at the Holy Trinity Church Community Arts Centre on Friday 3rd October. It will be the first in a series of pop-up nights around the city.

The project has the backing of Leeds University Union, and there are plans for the Union to host the event in December.

The idea for the night was conceived by community engagement worker Scott Bell and his fiancee Mary Park. The couple found support in the form of Leeds Co-Producing Health, a branch of the Centre for Innovation in Health Management (CIHM) at Leeds University Business School.

Natalie Leach, the Executive Support & Communications Officer at CIHM, spoke to The Gryphon about the new initiative, saying: “The idea of the pop-up night is to test the water. The project itself came out of some work myself and others at the center have done in Co-Producing Leeds, which is involved in helping people involved in drug and alcohol abuse across the city, and services to help those people.”

The idea of a sociable space which is free from alcohol, but still has a social atmosphere, kept coming up as an idea from people in the recovering community.”

They found that they were isolated, because so much of their social life was structured around bars and alcohol.”

Leach added: “The student’s union has talked to us about how many students choose not to drink for various reasons. It’s not just about people in recovery, since many people choose not to drink for religious or cultural reasons.”

Stephen Bradley, the Co-President of the Christian Union, praised the idea of an alcohol-free night, saying: “Jesus loved drink and we love Jesus, but a lot of problems in our society come from binge drinking so it’s great to see an alcohol free night being set up.”

He added: “There’s no actual religious reasons for a Christian to not drink alcohol though it’s drunkenness we avoid but drink can be enjoyed without getting drunk.”

As well as the event in the Union later this year, more pop-up nights are also planned around Leeds. After that, Leach said, the goal is to secure a permanent venue in 2016: “The aim for the pop-ups is then to greater inform us for when we set up the actual venue space.”

Sean Hayes

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