The Controlled Drinking Environment

At Wirral Ark, we operate a Controlled Drinking Environment providing a safe place to drink for those who would otherwise be street drinking.

The service aims to support street drinkers with chronic physical and mental health problems. The service provides a safe place to drink alcohol and provides help and treatment for vulnerable people who are perhaps excluded from other services due to anti-social behaviour. Ite is open to anyone who is homeless and is not just limited to clients of Wirral Ark.


From December 2016 the Controlled Drinking Environment is based with our partner YMCA Wirral. The service is now open 7 days a week.

The service offers advice, brief interventions, assessments and support to clients around their alcohol consumption.

We work closely with other agencies including Mental Health, substance misuse and outreach workers, to offer relevant support and advice to those who access the service.

The Controlled Drinking Environment demonstrates many benefits – improving social functioning and quality of life for people with prolonged alcohol misuse: 

  • Reducing alcohol consumption; less street drinking with fewer drunk and disorderly charges
  • Encourages positive engagement in activities; improved daily routine and sense of belonging
  • Positive referrals to other services and support networks including access to alcohol detoxification programmes
  • Harm reduction and medical care provided for people with physical health problems
  • Nutritional advice offered to encourage healthy eating
  • Fewer intoxicated people thus improved social behaviour, reducing anti-social behaviour.