Blandford Garrison has been transformed into a theatre this Christmas in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of driving drunk over the festive period.
Every year more than 1,300 people are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving drunk drivers in the UK.
To stop young soldiers becoming part of these statistics Blandford Garrison has taken to the stage to warn of the potential devastation caused by drink driving.
‘Home to Grave’ is a play developed three years ago which encourages junior soldiers to enjoy their Christmas leave but steer clear of drinking and driving.
The production is now a regular feature in the build up to Christmas at Blandford Garrison.
Former Traffic Police Officer and current WO2 Paul Corkhill knows only too well the way alcohol can wreck lives. He said:
“There’s the misconception that it’s not going to happen to them, or they’re not going to get caught. That they can drink far more and they feel fine when they get behind the wheel.
“Anything that myself and the Road Safety Team can do to hone that message and be as hard hitting as we can, might just prevent them from getting behind the wheel.”
All actors involved are soldiers, they script the lines themselves and deliver the performance to signallers not long out of training.
The storyline follows a young couple Rachel and Stephen. The designated driver, Stephen, gives in to peer pressure to have a few beers which leads to the death of Rachel.
One of the actors involved is LCpl Katherine Wood; she believes that it’s a vital message that needs to be to drilled in:
“They need to be aware that one drink is too many.”
The play is not for the faint hearted and given an edge by the fact that real-life stories are mixed into the story.
Graphic images of accidents and aftermath serve as a stern warning to any who think of indulging in a drink then driving over the Christmas.
Over the stand down period it’s hoped the military audience, who are statistically more likely to be killed through drink driving, will think twice and stay away from their cars this Christmas.