Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs is a national charity which supports anyone concerned about someone else’s alcohol or drug use in Scotland. We give information and advice to many people and help them with confidence, communication, general wellbeing, and we link them into local support. We also help people recognise and understand the importance of looking after themselves.
When we say the word family we mean close and extended family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and others.
We were created in 2003 by families themselves who came together to support each other and campaign for recognition. We’ve grown a lot since then!
We support people through our helpline, bereavement support service, Telehealth (one-to-one support), and our family support services in Aberdeenshire, East Dunbartonshire, and Forth Valley. We also deliver workforce development through our training courses, communications, and campaigning work, our young person’s project in East and West Dunbartonshire, and wider community development including our Connecting Families programme.
We are one of the Scottish Government’s Nationally Commissioned Organisations (NCOs) for alcohol and drugs and are recognised as Scotland’s leading charity for families affected by alcohol and drugs.
Across Scotland families are often:
- Denied support
- Excluded by services in the treatment and care of their loved one
- Overlooked in terms of looking after their loved one and the impact this has on their own lives
- Socially isolated, shamed and stigmatised by services and communities
- Powerless and at times disconnected from the wider recovery movement
With the new alcohol and drugs strategy ‘Rights, Respect and Recovery’ we are hoping this will not continue. We have our own call to action in our strategic plan 2017-20 ‘It’s All Relative’, and we work to five main outcomes:
- Families are supported
- Families are included
- Families are recognised
- Families are connected to communities
- Families are a movement for change
‘In this generation, alcohol and drugs seem to affect families every day. From the moment you wake up, your day is filled with worry. Worrying if your loved ones are going to be alright, worrying if they are going to make good choices today. With Scottish Families’ support, I can get through my day. I am not alone anymore. I have people who I can talk to about my feelings, my fears, and my worries. I have made friends and have got some confidence back.’
– Charlotte (name changed), Family Member
Read our latest Impact Report 2018/19
How we are funded
Funding from charitable trusts and foundations is key to the work of Scottish Families. We are grateful to have received support from many grant-making bodies including:
- Scottish Government
- Corra Foundation
- Forth Valley Alcohol and Drug Partnership
- East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership
Trusts and Foundations:
- Bank of Scotland Mental Health Fund
- Barcapel Foundation
- Christina Mary Hendry Charitable Trust
- DWF Foundation
- Health and Social Care Alliance
- Hugh Fraser Foundation
- Hugh Stenhouse Foundation
- Maple Trust
- Mary Andrew Trust
- Misses Barrie Charitable Trust
- Murdoch Forrest Charitable Trust
- Sky Jacqui Trust
- Souter Foundation
- Thistledown Trust
- Volant Trust
Meet Our Team
Senior Development Officer - Young People
Families & Communities Manager
Head of Programmes
Helpline Development Officer
Virtual Family Support Practitioner
Senior Virtual Family Support Practitioner
Martha is currently on maternity leave.
Senior Connecting Families Development Officer
Forth Valley Family Support Development Officer
Virtual Family Support Practitioner
East Dunbartonshire Family Support Development Officer
Development Officer - Young People
Connecting Families Development Officer
Aberdeenshire Family Support Development Officer
PA to CEO/Business Support Assistant
Colin joined the board in June 2017. He retired in 2011 after a career in teaching, education management and, latterly, arts management. He first experienced the benefits of a family support group in Edinburgh in 2012. He later trained as a SMART facilitator before he and his wife established a group for Family and Friends in West Lothian in 2015. His personal experiences have convinced him of the need to extend support for families, the importance of family-inclusive practice and the value of Scottish Families as an organisation.
Colin also enjoys a range of leisure interests and is an active member of his local athletics club.
Heather joined the Board in the summer of 2016. She is a chartered accountant and qualified at professional services firm Ernst & Young. She has a passion for the charity sector and now works as a senior management accountant at Comic Relief.
Though based in London for work, being from the Scottish Borders and studying in Dundee, she considers Scotland to be her home, and the issues of its people are very close to her heart.
She brings financial experience, from both the charity and commercial sectors. Outside of work you will usually find her running around somewhere. She recently completed the Edinburgh marathon and finds it very hard to sit still!
Michael joined the Board in April 2017. He works as a solicitor based in Glasgow. Michael has undertaken a wide variety of commercial and civil legal work during his career and brings this experience to the Board.
When he is not working, Michael enjoys military history, American football and teaching himself to code.
Brenda joined the board in June 2017. She first began working in the NHS laboratories, to which she took a career break after to take time to have a family. She went to university and returned to the NHS, working in primary care as a Fund Manager then laterally as a Business Manager for Breast Screening.
She has experience on other boards and is currently a Trustee on the Board of her local church. She is also no stranger to volunteering, she is involved with several groups from babies to teens and attends a monthly group named WLKO.
Brenda joined the Scottish Families Board as she recognises the impact supporting families can have. Not just at crisis times but in the day-to-day ‘just getting by’.
George joined the Board in January 2019. He manages two ICT teams for a charity called Key where he’s worked for the past 20 years. He is a founding member of the Scottish Charities IT Managers Forum. He has a breadth of experience related to technology and digital services in the third and public sectors. George’s experience of growing up in a family affected by alcohol drew him to Scottish Families.
Lorraine joined the board of Scottish Families in October 2017 (and her background is in Human Resource Management. She currently works in the Scottish Government where she heads up the HR Business Partner Team and has over 33 years’ experience in a variety of management roles across the Public Sector. Lorraine volunteered previously when she was a panel member in the Children’s hearing system and was keen to get involved again in volunteering with an organisation which specifically recognises the importance of family support during difficult times.
In her spare time, Lorraine can usually be found (in all weathers) on the side of a football field, cheering on one of her son’s in their sporting endeavours.
Kira joined the board in January 2018. Bringing experience in digital health, mental health and harm reduction, Kira has extensive experience of working with young people and working to support people in the LGBT community.
Kira currently works for the Scottish national charity, Crew, delivering training on harm reduction and drug trends.
Before joining SFAD as a board member Kira had no previous experience of being on a board but has spent a great deal of time volunteering with drug harm reduction organisations in the UK and mainland Europe. One of these organisations is the Loop – a UK wide NGO offering Multi Agency Safety Testing (MAST) at festivals and pop up city centre locations.
Frank joined the Board in August 2019. He retired from BP Petrochemicals in October 2018 after 38 years, with the final 22 years overseas (Switzerland, Belgium, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and the USA (twice)) running large global businesses. Frank enjoys watching sport particularly rugby and football and continues to enjoy running and Jiu Jitsu. Frank brings to the Board his extensive business acumen as well as experience and understanding of diverse challenges for families and an overall passion for the charity sector.