KCC Trading Standards Officer Neil Butcher has been awarded the prestigious Hero Award by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), for his exceptional work tackling under-age drinking and alcohol-related antisocial behaviour.
Neil has worked with great dedication to bring together a broad range of partners to tackle underage drinking in Kent and has helped set up two Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) in Thanet and Herne Bay. CAP’s Programme Manager Gillian Powell, who nominated Neil, said a third was being launched with Neil’s help in Tonbridge on 13 July.
Among his many achievements he built strong relationships with local retailers and supermarkets, warning adults that it is an offence to buy alcohol for children through the usage and display of large posters. The display led to a vast improvement and an increase in ID checks while ensuring that Trading Standards’ relationship with retailers is a supportive one.
He obtained a grant from Kent Fire and Rescue for CAPs work and organised training for teachers from East Kent College by the Alcohol Education Trust on how best to teach special educational needs on risk-taking behaviour.
The CTSI Hero Award, presented to Neil at a special ceremony in London, celebrates individuals or groups of people whose outstanding contribution towards consumer protection in our communities have made a significant impact. Every year, the Institute is inspired by the stories of nominees throughout the country whose bravery, altruism and hard work often goes unnoticed.
CTSI Chief Executive Leon Livermore said: “Neil’s resolve to stand up to underage drinking and its associated antisocial behaviour is second to none. He has gone beyond all call of duty and has made a huge impact on his community.”
Derek Lewis, chair of Community Alcohol Partnerships, said: “Neil has worked tirelessly to launch new Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) in Thanet and Herne Bay – bringing together a wide range of partners including local councils, schools, police, fire and rescue services, retailers and the community, all working to tackle underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour in Kent.
“The success of CAP relies on exceptional individuals like Neil who are willing and able to take on leadership roles to benefit their local communities and I am delighted that his dedication and hard work has been recognised with this award.”
Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet, added: “Success depends on exceptional and committed individuals like Neil who are willing and able to take on a leadership role in the local community to tackle underage drinking. I applaud his determination to help combat such behaviour.”