Christmas is traditionally a time for celebrating – family parties, office parties or catching up with friends, there is a whole lot of celebrating going on, and for many Scots that involves alcohol. Sometimes more than is usual, and sometimes more than is prudent.
It is easy to get carried away in convivial company, or with a determination to make a “proper” night of it. But there are risks associated with that, and a big risk is getting split up from friends and becoming vulnerable. Sadly there are people who prey on the vulnerable.
The Drinkaware crews that are planned for some Glasgow nightclubs are a great idea. By looking for people who may be in trouble or about to be in trouble, and by liaising with staff to help out, it may well be that tragedy is averted.
The volunteers who put themselves out there deserve our admiration and our respect, because it is not without its own risks and requires a great deal of judgement and tact.
It is worth pointing out that the Drinkaware Trust is funded largely by donations from UK alcohol producers, retailers and supermarkets. The crews out helping have been operating in several English cities for some time after a pilot project in Nottingham in 2014.
The city council also deserves praise for their part in supporting this. There may have been a temptation for Glasgow not to do this for fear of reinforcing any notion of a wild hard-drinking city, but instead they have taken the responsible path and helped with a project that should provide real and tangible benefits.
The only jarring note here is that so far there are only three venues involved, surely as word gets round more will want to be a part of it.