7:30pm Friday 11th October 2013
By Lydia Johnson
ALCOHOL is not the only drink banned at one youth club. Bromyard Youth Group has now stopped members from consuming energy drinks at its headquarters in the town’s Heritage Centre.
The move comes after energy drinks – which are high in caffeine – were blamed when a few youngsters misbehaved last week.
Charlotte Fox, chairman of the youth club, posted a message on the Bromyard.Info Facebook page announcing the ban, saying: “This type of behaviour has not occurred before last night and was the direct result of excessive drinking of energy drinks.”
She claimed that one member “experienced chest pains as a result of excessive caffeine intake” and that the drinks were banned in the interests of the “health and wellbeing of the children”.
“We have about 30 youngsters coming to the club and it’s great. I said to the kids who were behaving badly that I would only tell them once and that I was disappointed with their behaviour,” she said. “I know they’ll listen as they love the club. We are going to be offering courses and more activities that the children will get involved with.”
The club – which currently hosts members aged 11 to 18 – is not the first county organisation to ban the drinks, which have gained notoriety following the results of a poll commissioned on behalf of the Make Mine Milk campaign and the charity BeatBullying which found that one in 20 teenage pupils goes to school on a can of energy drink instead of breakfast.
The findings come despite labelling saying many of the drinks are not recommended for children. David Kemp, assistant headteacher at Bromyard’s Queen Elizabeth Humanities College, said: “The school has always recognised the damage that energy drinks can have on young people and, as a result, has never allowed students to bring the drinks in to the school.
“We fully support the youth centre in the stance it has taken.” John Masefield High School in Ledbury also has a ban on energy drinks. The news caused a stir on Facebook, with many joining calls for the drinks to be made more difficult for children to buy.
Rebecca Davies wrote: “When I worked in a shop, I point blank refused to sell energy drinks to kids. They should be banned.” Becci Read added: “I think energy drinks should most definitely have an age cap on them.”
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