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A UNIQUE wine and beer merchant dedicated to reducing harmful drinking has been nominated for two national awards.

The Alcohol-Free Shop is in the running for two titles in the Zero Alcohol Awards launched by Alcohol Concern, the charity behind Dry January.

The nomination has come in the 10th anniversary year for the enterprise set up by recovering alcoholic John Risby.

John launched the online shop at www.alcoholfree.co.uk in a 100 ft storage unit in May 2006.

Over the last decade, the business has boomed and now operates from a 13000 sq ft warehouse fronted by a stylish retail outlet with a team of staff.

The Alcohol-Free Shop is among contenders for the title of Best Independent Retailer, to be judged by a panel of journalists and industry experts, and has been nominated by loyal customers for The People's Choice Award.

Customers casting their votes submitted moving testimonies about the positive impact The Alcohol-Free Shop has had on their lives and those of loved ones.

John said: "When The Alcohol-Free Shop first launched 10 years ago, we were dismissed as fanatics.

"I'm proud to say that, over the last decade, we've helped many people avoid the harmful effects of alcohol and I've been touched by the testimonies of our customers, some of whom have been with us since day one.

"Alcohol-free wine and beer has been largely ridiculed in the media, but we've worked extremely hard over the last decade to overcome the unjustified odd-ball image and present alcohol-free drinks as an everyday option for people who want a choice.

"We were the fore runners of initiatives such as the hugely successful Dry January when we launched Alcohol-Free Week in 2007, which runs from 10 to 16 February and is now in it's 10th year.

"Current health advice and modern attitudes to drink driving have made us all the more relevant in a growing, niche market."

The winners of the Zero Alcohol Awards, sponsored by Britvic, will be announced during a ceremony at London's Barbican on Thursday 25 February.

Ends


Notes to editors

The Alcohol-Free Shop, www.alcoholfree.co.uk is the UK's leading alcohol-free drinks specialist.

The Alcohol-Free Week website can be found at www.alcoholfreeweek.co.uk

For further information/interviews please contact:

Christine Risby via email: christine@alcoholfree.co.uk or by phone on 0800 224 8024 mob: 07495 722846

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