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22 August 2019

Scotch Whisky Action Fund pledges further support for innovative projects

Chris and Alastair from the Waverley Care SX project
The Scotch Whisky Action Fund, set up in 2013, has pledged a further year's support for two projects that each received funding in 2018: Bright Light's Families in Recovery, and Waverley Care's SX initiative.

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund (SWAF) has announced its ongoing support for two initiatives aimed at tackling alcohol misuse in Scotland.

Waverley Care’s SX initiative and Bright Light’s ‘Families in Recovery’ each run regional initiatives in the Lothians and Central Belt, and were awarded funding last year as part of the Scotch Whisky industry’s commitment to tackling the misuse of alcohol.

Each were awarded continued funding under the SWAF’s capability programme, which commits a portion of the Fund to supporting innovative projects which have shown a positive impact in their first year.

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund was established in 2013 and has made 50 awards to initiatives across Scotland working to reduce alcohol-related harm.

Bright Light’s project ‘Families in Recovery’ was created to provide counselling sessions for children and young people under 18 who are adjusting to living with a parent or guardian recovering from alcohol addiction.

Julie Hogg-Wild, CEO at Bright Light, said: “SWAF’s initial vital support made it possible for Bright Light to pilot our unique family therapy support to over 30 vulnerable families in recovery from alcohol addiction. Our pilot provided a safe confidential unique space for families to talk about difficult things, often for the first time.

“None of this would have been possible without key support from SWAF at the beginning and now, for another key year building on what has been achieved to date.”

Waverley Care’s SX initiative provides a variety of sessions and campaigns aimed at supporting alcohol awareness and harm reduction among gay and bisexual men. Sessions included alcohol education, counselling and group work, and peer-to-peer research and impact reports, with public-facing campaigns delivered via a variety of mediums.

Alastair Rose, Manager of Waverley Care’s SX project, said:

“We are delighted that the Scotch Whisky Action Fund will continue to support our work. Gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by alcohol related harm and this funding will help us to better understand the role that alcohol plays in the way men live their lives. It will also allow us to continue engaging with the community to develop effective services that support men in relation to problematic drinking.”

Dame Joan Stringer, chair of the decision-making panel for ongoing funding said: “We were particularly impressed by the work done by both Bright Light and Waverley Care in addressing the issues caused by alcohol misuse at a local level. We’re very pleased to continue the Scotch Whisky Action Fund’s support of each project and look forward to more positive results over the coming 12 months.”

Dagmar Droogsma, Director of Industry at the Scotch Whisky Association said: “The Scotch Whisky Action Fund represents the Scotch Whisky industry’s commitment to responsible consumption of alcohol by supporting projects and campaigns that tackle harmful drinking. The SWAF continues to support projects such as Bright Light and Waverley Care: SX initiative to further build on their excellent work and increase their positive impact.”

For further information, please contact the Scotch Whisky Association Press Office on or call 0131 222 9200