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23 October 2019

Organisations come together for Scotch Whisky Action Fund learning event

Organisations come together for Scotch Whisky Action Fund learning event
The SWA has this week hosted a learning event featuring projects that received support from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund, which aims to tackle the effects of alcohol misuse.

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund (SWAF) has this week hosted an event aimed at sharing experiences and learning from Scottish projects who have received funding to help tackle alcohol-related harm. The annual learning event is the Scotch Whisky Action Fund’s fifth to date, and featured presentations from eight recipient projects from around Scotland, who shared what the funding has helped them to achieve, and the challenges that were faced. The event was chaired by Douglas Meikle, Head of Alcohol Policy at the Scotch Whisky Association, with opening remarks from Karen Betts, Chief Executive at the Scotch Whisky Association.

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund was established in 2013 and has made 50 awards to initiatives across Scotland working to reduce alcohol-related harm. The SWAF is administered by Foundation Scotland, who provide advice and support to organisations seeking funding to address alcohol-related issues in communities across the country.

Following the presentations, a roundtable discussion followed, covering the key topics of innovation, sustainability and evaluation, to help ensure that the support awarded by the Scotch Whisky Action Fund maintains a lasting legacy.

“The projects represented today have been supported by the Action Fund and are an important part of the Scotch Whisky industry’s commitment to ensuring that it plays its full part in promoting responsible drinking and tackling alcohol related harm”, said SWA Chief Executive Karen Betts. “The industry admires the sensitivity, persistence, creativity and humanity of the organisations and individuals that have made these projects happen, and we are proud to be able to support their work.”

“Elgin Youth Development Group recently celebrated its 21st birthday: fast forward to 2019 and we have built a safe space where young people can access support and advice on alcohol related issues, made possible with the funding received from Scotch Whisky Action Fund.”

Clair Ferguson, Elgin Youth Development Group

“The SWAF funding we received was used to increase awareness and knowledge among young people about alcohol and the impact it can have. We believe that a newer approach is needed to help improve outcomes for young people who have already adopted alcohol use as a coping mechanism and we hope that what we learn from today will help us continue to engage them in positive activities.”

Dawn Mullady, The Pitstop, Forfar

The full list of projects who presented at the learning event were:


School Alcohol Awareness Raising and Information Sessions

Hibernian Football Club Community Foundation, Edinburgh


Alcohol Awareness Programme

Reeltime Music, North Lanarkshire


Young Person Education and Support Project: Evanna’s Story

The Pitstop, Forfar


Saturday Night Project

Elgin Youth Development Group


Dyadic Art Therapy: Parent Child Dyadic Family Support

Impact Arts, Glasgow


Clear Thinking Smart Drinking

One Parent Families Scotland, Dundee


Family relationship counselling to children, parents and families

Bright Light, Edinburgh


Alcohol Harm Reduction Project: SX – Sex, Health and Wellbeing for Gay and Bisexual men

Waverley Care, Edinburgh