STAFF at a Newport housing charity have been teetotal for the last month along with Radio One DJ Huw Stephens as part of Dry January.

Rhian Stone, a corporate director of Solas in Newport, is one of nearly 1,000 people across Wales who have signed up to Dry January, the annual campaign run by Alcohol Concern Cymru. The campaign is to abstain from alcohol for the month of January in a bid to help people think about the role alcohol plays in their lives.

Solas is a housing support charity which supports people with alcohol problems. Ms Stone and colleagues signed up for Dry January as part of a staff scheme called The Good Life to encourage people to get fit.

Ms Stone, 47 said: “I am really enjoying it. I have had more energy, and my day is not marked out by that trigger, a glass of wine, which says it’s time to relax now. There have been a couple of times when I have thought it would be nice to have a glass of wine but I have found it relatively easy.

“We are aware that people are drinking at harmful levels, which provided the backdrop to Dry January. I am thinking I am going to keep going. I’m not saying I will never have a drink but maybe change things so that it’s not something you have every day.”

Huw Stephens, who presents on Radio One and Radio Cymru, said he joined Dry January to save some money and to try to lose some weight.

Mr Stephens said: “It’s been fun. I often go out without drinking but it’s been interesting to see how people react when you say you’re taking part in Dry January.

“I’ve been to five gigs this week and not drinking at them has given me more energy. I am not a heavy drinker anyway but I do like the odd glass.

Andrew Misell, director of Alcohol Concern Cymru, said: “The response to Dry January has been great this year. We had a record number of people join our campaign in Wales and we’ve had a great time working with them to see them through the month.

“We are very much on the home straight now and we reckon that anyone who has made it this far will make it.”