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SWAF - Edinburgh & the Lothians

Learn more about Scotch Whisky Action Fund projects around Edinburgh & the Lothians being funded during 2020.


Awarded:   £2,000

Project:    Podcasting and awareness raising

U-evolve exists to provide direct support to young people aged 11 to 18 who are facing mental health challenges and are disengaged from education. Their project 'TALK" will work directly with young people who have experienced a family history of alcohol misuse or are at-risk of alcohol misuse.

The funding received from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund will allow U-evolve to work with vulnerable young people at risk of alcohol-related harm providing an opportunity to discover ways to prevent and manage alcohol misuse through the medium of podcasting. U-Evolve will work with a group of 12-15 young people over a six month period delivering weekly podcasting sessions giving them the opportunity to discuss ways to tackle alcohol misuse and consequences such as anti-social behaviour and expulsion from school.

Podcasting is a great way to encourage young people to talk about how they feel and to share ideas and ways to improve the lives of young people. By being involved in podcasting the young people will not only understand how to tackle alcohol misuse, they will also increase their confidence, self-esteem and resilience.

Edinburgh Young Carers

Awarded:   £12,833

Project:    The SE+ Project

Edinburgh Young Carers provide person-centred, individual and group work support to young carers (aged 9-14) who care for a family member with alcohol addiction issues.

With help from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund, Edinburgh Young Carers will employ a professional in-house youth counsellor who will deliver a series of early intervention therapeutic group work counselling to young carers. The young people know this as SE+, (Social Education Plus) and it is a specific programme designed to meet the needs of young carers living with a parent who misuses alcohol. The programme allows young people a safe place to talk through their issues and to talk about the effect of alcohol generally among their peers as well as among support staff.

Through the SE+ programme coping mechanisms are learned as well as the opportunity to learn about themselves, and the enjoyments and hobbies they have in their lives which can help to enhance their quality of life. The SE+ programme also offers opportunity to young people to receive follow up counselling, where young carers can receive additional one-to-one counselling support. The outcomes for the young carers are, that they are safe and better able to cope in their home environment and are at lesser risk of developing alcohol misuse issues.

Bright Light

Awarded:   Year 3 funding; £22,000

Project:    Families in Recovery

Now in its third year of SWAF funding, the Families in Recovery project is going from strength to strength, supporting between 30 and 40 families every year, with the charity looking to expand the project further to help more people. The specialist therapy sessions work with the whole family, providing private counselling and giving families the opportunity to talk about difficult topics, often for the first time. It focuses on the various strengths of each person and highlights how those around them can work together to aid an individual’s recovery from alcohol addiction.

By helping families in this way, the charity has an ambition to break generational cycles of alcohol abuse as children understand the negative impacts and learn new ways to cope with stress and anxiety.