Welcome back to Charity Corner. This is my new series where I will be using my blog as a platform to lend a voice to different charities and organisations of all sizes, backgrounds and causes. Today’s Charity Corner, I speak to Emily Cole, the Digital Communications and PR Officer at ASH Wales, a charity which aims to confront the deleterious caused by smoking.
What is the mission of Ash Wales?
ASH Wales is the only organisation in Wales whose sole focus is tackling the harms of smoking. We help make new laws, we run campaigns to educate adults and we work with lots of young people to help them quit smoking or to not even start in the first place. We’re not just ASH Wales though… we also run a youth project called The Filter Wales and an online community for adults to quit smoking, Smokefree Me.
What’s the story behind the creation of your charity?
Back in the 1970s when ASH first started here in Wales, most people were only just learning about how bad smoking really was for us. 46% of the UK’s residents smoked back in the 70s too, so that’s where we came in – to teach people about the harms of tobacco and to support them to kick the deadly habit.
What outcomes has ASH Wales seen through its work?
From when we launched in 1976 to now there’s been 400,000 less smokers in Wales – that’s something big to be proud of. Most recently, we launched our youth project called The Filter, back in 2012. Since then we’ve worked with thousands of Wales’ young people and smoking rates among teenagers has continued to decrease from around 13% to 9% in just 5 of years – that’s a huge leap.