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Stay Cute and Dilute

22 August 2017

The Spireites Community Trust is supporting a Chesterfield mother who is encouraging sensible drinking habits after her son died last year following an alcohol-fuelled incident.

Former soldier Christopher Henchcliffe died in July 2016, after being assaulted on a night out in Chesterfield town centre with friends.

Mr Henchcliffe was taken to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield and induced into a coma, but suffered a fatal stroke after several brain operations.

His mother Yvonne, who launched her ‘Stay Cute and Dilute’ campaign to raise awareness of alcohol-related problems in the area, said: “The problem of alcohol-fuelled violence in the area is horrendous and it shouldn’t be happening.”

Figures from Labour MP Liam Byrne in 2015 placed Chesterfield as the 14th worst town in the country in terms of drinkers requiring hospital treatment.

And Yvonne wants local pubs and clubs to help promote a change in attitude towards drinking.

“We aren’t telling people don’t drink,” she said, “We’re just saying to take it steady and dilute in between drinks rather than pre-loading. Enjoy the night and make sure that your children come home, rather than what happened to Chris.

“Some of the young adults I’ve spoken to have said it’s more expensive to buy soft drinks, so they’re buying lager instead. I think the pubs and clubs shouldn't charge someone the same amount for a soft drink as for a lager, because obviously they’re going to choose lager.”

Yvonne and her family will be holding a memorial event on Sunday, from 2pm, at the Olde House pub in Chesterfield.

The event is to raise money for Neurocare, which supports the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and the Royal British Legion.

There will be live music as well as a sponsored firewalk and a show of strength from Simon Plant, one of the world’s strongest men.

The 38th Scout Group and Sea Cadets will also attend and hand out free soft drinks all afternoon.

Yvonne, her five-year old granddaughter and 75-year old father, who recently fought cancer, will all be taking part in the fire walk.

“It’s all about inner strength, the feat of Simon Plant is a sign of outer strength but the firewalk is a sign of our inner strength, which I thought was a good topic for the day,” said Yvonne.

“I hope Chris would be proud. He loved doing crazy things so I believe he’ll be on that firewalk with me.”

The fire walk will take place at 7pm and it costs £20 to take part. To book, call in at Goodies £1 Takeaway or the Sun Inn.


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