Ex-Eastenders actor starts campaign to raise awareness of drinking craze Neknomination (From News Shopper)
Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Ex-Eastenders actor starts campaign to raise awareness of drinking craze Neknomination
A FORMER Eastenders actor wants to start a campaign against new drinking craze Neknomination to raise awareness of the growing problem.
Stuart Antony, who lives in Bexleyheath, took over the Royal Standard pub in Lion Road in May last year and says he has made a 'roaring success' by turning it into a gay pub.
The 26-year-old is using resources from charity Drink Aware to give out posters and flyers across schools and colleges in the borough to make people aware of the dangers concerning the new trend.
So far the drinking craze has been linked to the deaths of four young people including Isaac Richardson, 20, from Woolwich after he downed a pitcher of spirits and lager.
A man from Cardiff and two young men from Ireland also died taking part.
The father-of-one said "For me as a landlord promoting irresponsible drinking is against the law, this being illegal won’t stop people taking part in these challenges.
"Hopefully someone making them aware of the possibility that this could kill them will stop this dangerous craze.
"I have had people come into the pub openly showing me videos of people doing it and people have even asked me to do it.
"Young people need to be aware that this is a huge problem which is killing people."
Stuart, who is originally from Dartford, starred in the BBC soap for two years and played Alfie Moon's friend Simon White.
The stunt is part of the Neknomination fad which is thought to have originated in Australia.
Samantha Elden-Lees, who is an A&E Consultant Nurse at Darent Valley Hospital, said:"This is something I am very adament about.
"Social networks and social media are promoting a very dangerous practice that will cost lives. They need to be accountable and responsible for this.
"People themselves need to stop this by not putting themselves at risk."
Participants down drinks in outrageous ways or neck potent cocktails of booze before posting the video online and nominating friends to try and top their performance within 24 hours.
The aim of the game is to complete a drinking dare - ‘Neck’ - and then nominate someone to do the same.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, medical adviser to alcohol education charity Drinkaware warned competitions to drink excessively in a short space of time can be dangerous, and putting videos of these episodes online could affect people in the long term.
She added: "Quite apart from the risk of accident or injury as a result of drinking to excess, there is another aspect to these online drinking games which is the "cybershame" some young people may experience.
"Drinkaware research shows nearly half (47 per cent) of 18-24 year olds admitted un-tagging drunk photos of themselves that they didn’t want others to see.
"However there is still a chance that these photos may be seen by universities and prospective employers.
"So while it may seem like a lot of fun at the time, the range of negative consequences are no laughing matter."
The hashtag ‘neknominate’ started trending on Twitter in the UK in January 2013.