Published on January 29, 2014 | by Ali Fortescue

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BJ Dry January: Can You Afford It?

Pubs says they're struggling as Londoners give up booze in January

Many Londoners, recovering from a Christmas binge, have decided to kick start the year with a booze-free January. It may mean a healthy New Year, but if you’re not one for resisting temptation it could be an expensive month as charities are encouraging a hefty donation every time you have a sip.

Breast Cancer Research have launched a ‘dryathlon‘ campaign where people sign up individually or in teams to raise money. As a ‘dryathlete’ you have to pay at least £20 every time you have a drink.

Pollyanna in December 2013.

Pollyanna in January 2014.

Pollyanna Newcombe from Fulham has stopped drinking this month for Breast Cancer and describes the challenge as “costly! It’s costly! Every drink costs!” She has no doubt that many of her fellow Dryathletes will end the month out of pocket, but assured me she won’t be “waisting time” in clubs and bars. Using the charity’s online calculator Pollyanna has worked out she can cut out 40,000 calories if she doesn’t drink this month.

But not everyone agrees, one student at LCC said it’s a “horrible idea” to start the year without a drink whilst another revealed that you can give up drinking any time of year: not just January. 

Pubs and bars too aren’t happy with a drink-free month. Fred Hills, a manager at the Sands End Pub, told me they struggle in winter months: “Lime and sodas flying out the doors, I love those people not drinking, it really has hit the sales”. However, he did admit to taking part in Dry January himself “only in day light hours” which, luckily for him, are scarce at the moment. 

“Lime and sodas flying out the doors, I love those people not drinking, it really has
hit the sales” – Manager at the Sands End Pub.

So if you’re struggling to stay dry in the wet weather you’re not alone and you could even help a charity on the way. Failing January, there’s always “Sober October” to look forward to.

5 reasons to cut out drink in January:

(according to the NHS )

  • Reduction in your chance of liver disease
  • Helping you to maintain a healthy weight
  • Breast cancer and other cancers less likely
  • Lower blood pressure
  • No injuries caused by drunken behaviour

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