2004 > Ongoing
To enable pupils to understand the facts, causes, and consequences surrounding alcohol misuse.
To break the culture of underage drinking.
To reduce alcohol related harm among young people.
To help young people develop responsible attitudes towards alcohol.”
Smashed is Diageo’s flagship global theatre-in-education programme aims to break the culture of underage drinking and reduce alcohol-related harm among young people around the world. Diageo has been the sponsor of the Smashed Project since its inception in 2004.
Collingwood Learning developed the programme in consultation with pupils and has executed it independently ever since. It was designed to engage with pupils in a different way to typical school lessons to help them understand the facts, causes, and consequences of alcohol misuse and the risks of underage drinking. The hope is that students would be equipped to deal with peer pressure and to make informed choices.
It is aimed at high school pupils aged 12-16. The programme is comprised of:
- A hard hitting live theatre performance: A team of actors deliver the hour-long performance which follows a group of friends who get in trouble after misusing alcohol.
- An interactive workshop: The performance is followed by a 40-minute-long interactive workshop which includes activities and exercises. A question and answer session looks at making the right choices and the consequences of not. Pupils are invited to probe the cast on any of the issues brought up during the play and explore the consequences portrayed by the actors.
- Teaching materials and evaluation: Teaching resources and video clips from the performance are available for teachers to use as follow up.
In England the project forms a key part of schools Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum, has been endorsed by the UK government and was recognised at a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons in 2016.
In 2016, the Smashed Project was launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland and is directly linked to the Learning for Life and Work Curriculum and endorsed by the CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment). Additionally, Diageo held a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons to present Smashed.
In 2017, the programme was extended overseas. Countries include Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Italy, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, the USA and Vietnam.
In 2020, the programme was extended online and is called “Smashed Online”. Smashed Online is a 60 – 90 minute course that uses filmed episodes from the Smashed story combined with interactive activities. It is free to access and teachers can simply share the Smashed Online link with students, who can sign up individually. It is simple to use and students can complete the episodes and save their work, returning to it at any time. A certificate can be downloaded on completion. There is also a guide for teachers.
- 2005 to 2016: The programme reached an average of 15,000 pupils per year in 75 schools.
- 2016/2017: Visited 90 schools reaching 20,000 pupils.
- 2017/2018: Visited 90 schools across six different regions reaching 18,000 pupils.
- 2018/2019: Visited 90 schools in seven different regions reaching 45,000 pupils.
- 2019: The programme has reached over 415,000 pupils in 2,115 schools across the UK since it began in 2005.
Smashed first went to Northern Ireland in February 2016 and since then has visited 150 schools across all education authority areas. The 20,000-pupil milestone was marked at the end of 2018.
Between July 2018 and July 2019, The Smashed Project visited 209 schools across five different countries, reaching over 42,000 young people through 247 performances in Europe, including England, Scotland, Wales, Italy and Northern Ireland.
- 2016/2017: Ran in 12 countries reaching more than 135,000 pupils.
- 2017/2018: Visited 16 countries reaching over 250,000 pupils on six continents.
- 2018/2019: Ran in 20 countries reaching over 100,000 young people around the world in 2018 alone. Diageo’s ambition is to reach five million people through the programme by 2025.
- 2018/2019: Ran in 19 countries reaching over 208,952 young people worldwide, with more than 1,100 performances in 15 different languages.
In 2020, the online programme was made available to over one million students aged 12-14 across 5,500 schools in the UK.
Measurement & evaluation
- Between July 2018 - July 2019 The Smashed Project delievered 247 performances in Europe, including England, Scotland, Wales, Italy and Northern Ireland.
- The Smashed Project reached over 42,000 young people between July 2018 and July 2019.
- January 2018: After watching the play, the percentage of students who felt they knew a lot about the dangers of alcohol misuse increased by 44%. Additionally, students who knew the legal age for buying alcohol increased from 80% to 98%, while students who understand the term peer pressure increased by 20%.
- January 2019: Feedback showed:
- 95% of pupils said they understood more about the dangers of underage drinking than they did before the workshop.
- Pupils who knew the legal age for buying alcohol in their country increased from 78% to 94%.
- 86% of pupils demonstrated confidence in where to get help with alcohol-related issues after the programme (an increase of 33%).
- 15% have said the most important thing they learnt from the session was how to challenge peer pressure.
- In 2019: Isabella Govinden, a year eight student said: “We watched a play first, which was good, then we had to fill in a questionnaire. I learnt not to drink alcohol under the age of 18 as it can lead to serious illnesses and damage your brain, lungs etc. and after 18 to be sensible with it. It made me think about how different decisions can lead to different consequences and how a silly decision can go horribly wrong. If friends try to peer pressure you into doing it, I learnt how not to let them influence me.”
- In 2019: Benson Hardy, a year 8 student said: "This was a fun way of highlighting the issues involved in drinking alcohol and the potential dangers it entails."
- In 2019: Tim Loughton, East Worthing and Shoreham MP, said: “I’ve been involved in considerable work for campaigns addressing alcohol misuse and Smashed is certainly one of the more original approaches I’ve encountered. Children are constantly given dos and don’ts from all angles but using interactive performance to communicate the potential dangers of underage drinking and bring the students’ own thoughts into the conversation is both innovative and effective.”
- In 2019: Henry Smith, Crawley MP, said: “Smashed is a fantastic initiative. Students come out of the sessions armed with the facts they need for later life, having participated in an eye-opening workshop on the risks of underage drinking.”
- In 2018: Rt Hon Anne Milton, MP for Guildford said: “It is important that young people learn about the devastating consequences of alcohol misuse and feel able to cope with the considerable pressures they now face as they approach their teenage years. I was very pleased that the ‘Smashed’ project recently visited a local school to raise awareness of this. It is vital that we have education programmes to teach our children through the projects and interactive workshops that projects like ‘Smashed’ deliver. These will have a positive effect for many young people.”
- In 2018: Paul Scully, MP for Sutton and Cheam said: “‘Smashed’ tackles an important issue in an engaging way. The innovative and interactive way they deliver their message on the dangers of alcohol misuse is one that I am sure will remain with pupils in the years to come. It is great to see that ‘Smashed’ is being proactive in educating and empowering our young people to make good decisions.”