13 October 2023
Seven Projects Throughout Scotland Awarded Funding Totalling £100k To Help Tackle Alcohol Harm
Seven projects from across Scotland have been awarded a total of £100,000 in funding by the Scotch Whisky Action Fund (SWAF), as part of the industry’s longstanding commitment to tackling alcohol harm. The organisations include ABRC Cowal Hub, and Space @ the Broomhouse Hub in Edinburgh which have been given funding for the first time; and Barnardo’s East Ayrshire, Glasgow Girls in Glasgow, Home Start Garioch in Inverurie, and Fast Forward and LAYC, both Edinburgh-based, which are all receiving continuity funding to build on the success of previous years’ projects.
The Scotch Whisky Action Fund is now in its tenth year, and is administered by Foundation Scotland. The Fund awards organisations working to support those affected by alcohol harm, or to promote responsible consumption. To date it has made over 80 awards totalling more than £1.1m in support of targeted interventions designed to tackle alcohol-related harms in Scotland’s communities.
Linda Nisbet, Children’s Services Manager for Barnardo’s East Ayrshire service, who are using their funding to run awareness courses to support high school students understand the consequences of substance misuse, including alcohol, said: “The renewed funding we have been awarded from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund will enable project workers from our children and family team to deliver work to 1,000 young people across three secondary schools in East Ayrshire.
“This will include educating children on healthy lifestyles and the risks of alcohol misuse, social pressures to misuse alcohol and understanding the impact of alcohol on behaviour. We will deliver all sessions in a way that is meaningful, accessible and age & stage appropriate. From experience, we know that young people benefit most from engaging in open and frank discussions around their concerns and needs.”
Nicola Hall, Manager of ARBC, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded a grant from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund. Our Family Support project will allow us to develop a more holistic service using a 'whole family' approach. The opportunity to be able to offer dedicated family support for people affected by someone else's alcohol use is fantastic and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on our community - thank you for the opportunity."
Glasgow Girls FC, an organisation that runs football coaching schemes for girls in the East End of Glasgow, will use SWAF support to continue the rollout of Tackled, a peer-led alcohol education and awareness mentoring programme. This year’s funding will be used to support four local young people to complete a professional certificate in Peer Mentoring at SCQF Level 7, as well as encouraging young people from the Glasgow Girls organisation, and from local school and local sports clubs to complete an online mentoring qualification.
David McDermott, Development Manager at Glasgow Girls FC, said: "The ‘Tackled’ project enables our staff members and volunteers to fully engage young people in our community in open discussions about alcohol and the dangers associated with alcohol misuse.”
Home-Start Garioch, based in Inverurie but supporting families throughout the Aberdeenshire area, works to provide trained help for those with children who are facing difficulties including alcohol misuse, disrupted relationships and financial insecurity.
Mhairi Philip, Scheme Manager at Home-Start Garioch, said: “Counselling provides a professional listening ear, a safe place to speak and be heard. For many of our families there are too many barriers in place which makes this valuable service inaccessible, including long waiting lists of 6 months or more, high costs if this is needed more urgently, inaccessibility, poor costly public transport, and lack of childcare; all of which are an added layer of stress. At Home-Start Garioch we aim to remove those barriers, a home-visiting volunteer can support families to attend, transporting, providing childcare, making the services accessible. While support is more readily available if you are struggling with an alcohol dependency, there is little available for those family members who are impacted indirectly, the partner, the children. With the funding from The Scotch Whisky Action Fund we are able to support those family members.”
Space @ the Broomhouse Hub is a youth club supporting young people in the Broomhouse area of Edinburgh. Their Youth Befriending Project is aimed at helping children affected by parental addiction, including drugs and alcohol, by pairing them with mentors who can offer guidance, emotional support and respite through fun activities. The Scotch Whisky Action Funding is contributing to a city-wide extension of the service, increasing its capacity by 50%.
Nicola Campbell, Youth Befriending Services Manager, said: “Over the past decade we have helped hundreds of children and young people increase their confidence, engage in school and build positive relationships with others. Our service provides two hours of support a week where the children and young people get the opportunity to explore new places and engage in a variety of fun activities. In the last year many young people engaging in the service have shown improvements in their emotional health, education and engaging in their local community. If you have a few hours a week to spare to help a young person realise their potential then we would love to hear from you. Our volunteers come from many different walks of life and bring with them a variety of knowledge and skills. Befriending is a very rewarding experience for both the volunteer and young person.”
LAYC is in its second year of funding, and is using the grant from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund to roll out training in alcohol awareness for youth workers across the city. The workshops, which are expected to benefit 45 trainees throughout the year, are aimed at ensuring youth workers feel confident in supporting young people who are at risk of misusing alcohol or are living in households where alcohol use is an issue.
Fast Forward is in its third year of funding from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund, and will be continuing the rollout of its project Own It!, a programme to deliver 400 hours of direct training in alcohol related harm, other risk-taking behaviours, and peer-education to young people in schools, youth clubs and employability groups.
All of these organisations are doing important work to tackle harmful alcohol consumption, help those affected by alcohol harm and raise awareness of risk taking behaviour.
- Dame Joan Stringer, awards panel chair
Allie Cherry-Byrnes, Chief Executive of Fast Forward said: “We were delighted to secure a third year of funding from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund to continue our Own It! project. This ongoing support will enable us to continue to develop the project, working with more groups of young people to raise awareness of the impact of alcohol and alcohol related harms by designing and creating innovative peer education resources.
“Ongoing work with partners like Edinburgh College, whose students supported the design of digital games in year 2, will enable us to continue to develop the programme to add the media of music, photography, animation, theatre, digital games and dance.”
Dame Joan Stringer, who chairs the awards panel, said: “All of the organisations selected to receive funding are doing important work to tackle harmful alcohol consumption, help those affected by alcohol harm and raise awareness of risk taking behaviour. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of their work, and are pleased to be supporting them this year.”
Mark Kent, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association said: “Tackling alcohol harm has long been a core commitment of our industry, and the Scotch Whisky Action Fund awards funding where it is needed most – the grassroots projects working in communities across Scotland to address alcohol misuse and support those affected by it. Our congratulations go to the award recipients and we look forward to learning from the outcomes and results of their initiatives.”
More information on the Scotch Whisky Action Fund can be found here
A total of £100,000 has been awarded by the Fund to projects across Scotland in 2023
The Fund was launched in 2013 and has made over 80 awards to projects across Scotland providing over £1.1 million in funding
The full details of the projects receiving funding for the first time in 2023 are below:
Argyll & Bute Rape Crisis (ABRC) (Dunoon) - Cowal Hub Family Support
The Scotch Whisky Action Fund will cover the cost of providing free therapeutic support sessions for family members whose lives and mental health have been impacted by another person's alcohol use. This project will be part of the holistic service delivered from the Cowal HUB run by ABRC in partnership with other agencies. ABRC currently provide support to family members of survivors impacted by sexual trauma due to the significant impact it can have on those around the survivor and would like to extend this service for those impacted by someone else’s alcohol use. Family members being able to access support for themselves will allow them to not only better support their loved one, but also to deal with their own thoughts and feelings about that person’s experience, in a safe space, delivered in a person-centred way with their needs at the heart of the support. Family members and loved ones also play a vital role in influencing the prevention and reduction of alcohol use thus reducing harm and risk for the individual. 50 people are expected to benefit in one year based on consultation with the community and those who have expressed an interest already.
Barnardo’s (East Ayrshire) – SENIOR CHOICES
Barnardo’s plans to expand the provision of its CHOICES programme for primary school age children to include secondary school age. The ‘SENIOR CHOICES’ programme will aim to replicate and adapt the existing programme for an older audience of high school pupils. SENIOR CHOICES will deliver to first year pupils within three East Ayrshire secondary schools of approximately 25/30 per class, and 10/12 classes per year group, per school. The project sessions will encourage young people to gain a better understanding of the impact of substance misuse, engage in open and frank discussions around their concerns and needs, and bring about a positive change in behaviour. 1,080 young people will stand to directly benefit from project activities.
Space @ the Broomhouse Hub Ltd. (Edinburgh) - Youth Befriending Project
The funding will be used to extend the current befriending service for children and young people affected by parental and familial alcohol use from a south-west locality service to an Edinburgh city-wide service, increasing the service capacity by 50%. Funds will be used to towards the costs of a full time Project Worker to deliver the service, plus a small budget for activities such as cinema trips, and a contribution to office costs. Sixty children will benefit during the first year of the extension to the project. The project is actively looking for volunteers; for more information visit spacescot.org
Details of the projects awarded continuity funding in 2023 are below:
Fast Forward Positive Lifestyles (Edinburgh) – Own It!
Fast Forward is in its third year of funding, which will be used to continue to build on the success of the first two years of the Own It! programme. The programme will work with 15-20 groups of young people, aged 10-24, with 6-10 young people in each group, across Scotland, including primary and secondary schools, youth groups/organisations and employability groups to deliver four hundred hours of direct training in alcohol related harm, other risk-taking behaviours, and peer-education. They will continue to offer the opportunity to develop digital Own It! games but this year, groups will also have the opportunity to develop other types of resources which they feel will resonate with their peers where games might not, including short films, animations, social media content and music. In a development of the first two years of this work, they will explore different settings for the resources to build on those set-in house parties, pubs and clubs, to include more places where young people gather, such as local parks, reservoirs and online. As an example, following conversations with the RNLI, Fast Forward are keen to develop one or more Own It! around water safety and alcohol for young people.
Glasgow Girls (Glasgow) – Tackled
Glasgow Girls is in its second year of funding. The award will be used too contribute towards the costs of developing and delivering a year-long peer-led alcohol education and awareness mentoring programme to young people aged 11-16 in the communities of the Shettleston ward of Glasgow city and adjacent communities of Budhill, Springboig and Greenfield. Four local young people will be supported to complete a professional certificate in Peer Mentoring at SCQF Level 7 and will join the core team of volunteer peer mentors. The project will also encourage and support a further 48 young people, across the organisation, local school and local sports clubs to complete a basic online qualification in mentoring called Mentor Knowledge and Understanding. The aim is to improve
young people’s awareness, knowledge and understanding of the potential dangers and implications of the misuse of alcohol and to engage them in the range of diversionary activities offered by the applicants, so supporting their inclusion, health and well-being by steering them away from risk taking, anti-social behaviour and criminal activity. At least 52 young people will benefit over the course of the year.
Home Start Garioch (Inverurie) - Family Counselling Project
Home Start Garioch is in its second year of funding. The award will be used to continue to cover the cost of counselling to families whose lives and mental health have been impacted by a family member’s alcohol dependency. Further funding will provide 200 hours’ worth of counselling, which equates to approximately 25-33 individuals receiving 6-8 sessions each. From experience six sessions are enough but having the additional flexibility to provide additional sessions is important for those who would find it be beneficial. The sessions will be offered on a weekly basis from the office in Inverurie, and volunteers will be utilised to provide transport and childcare to those who require it.
Lothian Association of Youth Clubs (LAYC; Edinburgh) - Alcohol Awareness for Youth Workers
LAYC is in its second year of funding, which will be used to continue delivering alcohol awareness workshops for youth workers to increase their skills, knowledge, and confidence to support young people who are at risk of misusing alcohol or are living in households where alcohol use is an issue. Three alcohol awareness workshops will be provided, focussing on the following topics: Alcohol education; Parent/Carer alcohol use and impact; Young people's alcohol use/trends; Signs of alcohol misuse; and Signposting to support. Each workshop includes theory and practice, with a focus on engaging young people in a non- judgemental/stigmatising way. Toolkits and resources are provided to support onward delivery of alcohol awareness, signposting information, and provision of diversionary activities with young people. Each workshop will provide 15 participant places, a total of 45 across the year.