Scotch Whisky Action Fund – learning from experience and planning for the future
01 Dec 2016
Helping local groups in Scotland tackle alcohol
An audience in Glasgow this week heard how the Scotch Whisky
Action Fund helps projects fight alcohol misuse in Scotland.
Organisations shared experiences of their work carried out using
grants they have been awarded and discussed the lessons that can be
learned for future initiatives.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) set up the £500,000 Scotch
Whisky Action Fund in December 2013 to give a total of £100,000
each year to 2018 to projects working to reduce harm in Scotland.
The fund, which extends the SWA's commitment to addressing alcohol
misuse and promoting responsible drinking, is managed by Foundation
Scotland, an independent charity.
An event was held recently (29 November) at the Trades Hall in
Glasgow to share key learning and experiences from organisations
benefiting from the fund. The audience, made up of voluntary
organisations, members of the Scotch Whisky industry and other
interested groups, firstly heard from Dame Joan Stringer, chair of
the Scotch Whisky Action Fund independent awards panel.
Dame Joan Stringer said: "It's important to understand
what has been achieved by the projects and the outcomes of their
interventions. By sharing those experiences we can learn what
works, what doesn't work and what the key challenges are."
The audience heard the experiences of some of the organisations
that have received grants:
Projects working with families:
- Voice of Carers Across Lothian (VOCAL) on its 'That's Life'
alcohol prevention peer support programme for older carers.
- Keep the Heid discussed its mindfulness based living and
responsible awareness programme ia2ps (increased access to
psychological support project.
- Up-2-Us Ltd presented its parent and child change project.
Projects working with communities:
- Orkney Alcohol Counselling and Advisory Services (OACAS)
discussed its Pub Watch Rehabilitation Scheme.
Projects working with young people:
- You Decide - Space Unlimited told the audience about how it
helps young people play an active role in reducing alcohol related
harm in Port Glasgow.
- Granton Youth Centre on the north Edinburgh street work
- Fuse Youth Café in Shettleston, Glasgow on its alcohol
Rachel Honeyman, senior care worker with VOCAL said that three
out of five people are likely to become carers at some point in
their lives. She explained that drinking alcohol can become a means
of coping with difficult situations and That's Life works with
individuals at risk of harmful consumption.
Gordon Culbert of Keep the Heid said that mindfulness can help
parents of younger children understand the impact of alcohol
Olive Arens, manager of Up-2-Us Ltd explained how its project
gives 'permission' to children to talk to volunteers and workers
about their parents' drinking and everyone involved in the
initiative said their life was better as a result.
Bob MacKenzie, offending prevention and rehabilitation worker
with OACAS, said that a drinking culture affects communities. He
acknowledged the problem of 'pre-loading' where people consume
alcohol before going out in the evening which leads to issues for
those individuals and pub licensees. His project is targeting local
schools and colleges to help change this pattern of behaviour.
Owen Cook, project manager, You Decide - Space Unlimited,
explained how young people were being supported to turn a concept
into something on the ground so they themselves could help reduce
alcohol-related harm in the area.
Kevin Ross, manager at Granton Youth Centre, discussed how its
project delivers alcohol 'brief interventions on the street',
engages with young people and collaborates with others.
And David Purcell, alcohol worker with Fuse Youth Café, said
they provide information to young people to give them confidence to
speak to parents about alcohol and to help them make their own
choices about drinking when they are older.
Summing up the event, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief
executive Julie Hesketh-Laird, said: "Today's speakers showed the
passion, effort and hard work behind their projects. And I would
like to add that partnership working to tackle alcohol misuse is
important to the entire Scotch Whisky industry."
The Scotch Whisky Action Fund will re-open for applications from
Notes to editors
SWA media contact: Rosemary Gallagher, head of communications,
0131 222 9230/07432 605385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on the Action Fund visit
For more information on the Scotch Whisky Association /what-we-do/alcohol-society/scotch-whisky-action-fund/