The ‘Stick with your Mates’ campaign is part of a FCO global campaign on youth safety, working with charities like Street Angels and 24/7 to spread the message.
The campaign includes short videos and images targeted at young people on social media, under the hashtag #stickwithyourmates. Special emphasis is placed on those visiting popular resorts such as Magaluf and San Antonio, where the majority of fatal incidents and hospitalisations last year happened when people were by themselves.
Advice published on the FCO’s ‘Travel aware’ website includes setting up group chats to stay in contact, keeping an eye on your friends’ drinks to ensure they don’t get spiked, not letting a friend walk home alone and checking into your hotel on social media so you can find it at the end of the night.
Consul General Lloyd Milen said: “The Balearics are a great destination where young people can have a fantastic holiday. The objective of the campaign, following several fatal balcony falls in the Balearics last summer and, sadly, one already this year, is focused on trying to prevent such accidents happening.”
“Our campaign is about providing some simple tips and advice to make sure everyone visiting the islands has a holiday to remember, rather than one they will want to forget.”
One young holidaymaker, Georgia Hague, who features in some of the ‘Stick with your Mates’ videos, has her own campaign called ‘Don’t Leave a Friend Behind’ on the island of Mallorca.
After having lost a friend who fell from a building in Magaluf, Georgia knows the importance of sticking together until the end of the night.
“You can’t stop people drinking, but you can stop a friend making a bad decision,” she said. “I see people in all sorts of trouble every night – lost on the strip, having drunk too much – which could have been avoided if they’d just stuck with their mates.”
Bel Busquets, the Vice-President of Councillor for Innovation, Research and Tourism for the Government of the Balearics welcomed the campaign, emphasising the importance of working together to ensure that visitors to the islands have a good time and can return home safe.
By Alice Huseyinoglu