PEOPLE in Swindon who want to move away from alcohol can learn how to socialise sober.

Londoner Laura Willoughby, co-founder of Club Soda, an organisation providing support for light and non-drinkers, is encouraging anyone in Swindon who wants to reduce their alcohol intake to attend her sober event on April 27 at the Goddard Arms.

She said: “I am organising an informal walk and lunch for people who want to stop drinking alcohol. Most people have their social life revolving around alcohol, but we want to show them that there are other alternatives.

“This event is a good opportunity to learn from other people who are on the same journey.

“We are coming to Swindon because we would like more members to join our movement and we also have good partnerships with charities in Swindon.”

Laura and her associate, Jussi Tolvi, launched Club Soda four years ago to provide a place where people can abstain from drinking alcohol without suffering peer pressure.

“I gave up drinking seven years ago and realised there was nothing out there for people who wanted some help to do a self-guided journey to change their drinking,” said Laura.

“We now have a community of 30,000 people that support you whatever your goal and see changing drinking habits as a positive life change.

The 44-year-old added: “Alcohol is addictive and it is nice that it no longer controls large parts of my weekend. It has nothing to offer me anymore.

“I now live life in high definition. I am a campaigner by background and I now have the energy and the brainpower to dedicate to the things I care about. The 20-year-old me is back in town.”

While the problem of excessive drinking in Britain affects people from a variety of backgrounds, alcohol consumption among young people and other age groups has decreased considerably in the UK over the last decade, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics. Nearly 23 per cent of youngsters aged between 16 to 24 reported not drinking in 2017, five per cent more than in 2005.

“Since we launched Club Soda, the change has been amazing, a lot of new members have joined, and we even have now our own guide for where to find the best low and non-alcoholic drinks. People from Swindon can also nominate their favourite pub,” said Laura.

For further information visit their Facebook event, Club Soda Swindon Lunch and Walk. The event will start at 11am and tickets cost £6 each.

Alcohol: What are the risks ?