Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs is a national charity that 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 ‘Routes’ 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
Justina joined Scottish Families as CEO in June 2017, following previous roles in partnership development, and research and policy in Scotland and New Zealand. This included roles in community justice (focused on reducing reoffending), community planning, public policy and equal employment opportunities.
Justina’s role at Scottish Families includes providing strategic leadership for the charity, supporting the Board in its governance role, making sure we have the resources (money, people and skills) to do our job, and driving forward our work to respond to changing needs and issues.
She is committed to championing the hidden role of families, campaigning for improved support for families in their own right, and enjoys working with so many interesting, amazing and experienced people across Scotland.
Justina lives with her family on the Ayrshire coast and enjoys holidays and travel and catching up with friends.
Senior Development Officer - Young People
Claire has been with Scottish Families for nearly 7 years. She began as our East Dunbartonshire Family Support Worker but found she was asked to support teenagers regularly who had a parent who was using alcohol or drugs. She recognised a huge need for support for this age range and was delighted when our new service for young people Routes was launched.
Claire now runs Routes along with Pam. She has over 10 years’ experience of working with vulnerable children and was keen to return to working with this age range. She has been blown away by the resilience and bravery of the young people she works with and although it’s full-on, she loves this rewarding new role.
When not at work, Claire enjoys spending time with her own teenagers or playing netball or eating!
For enquiries about our young person’s group Routes, contact Claire email@example.com
Families & Communities Manager
John has been working with communities for over 15 years in adult learning, youth work and community learning and development roles across statutory, private and third sector agencies.
John is passionate about bringing people together to learn, take action and build better environments to live in.
John’s role at Scottish Families is to support the development of new opportunities in and across communities that help people feel more connected to each other. This involves working with local people, those in services and commissioning bodies to understand local need and how to use community assets to get the right response that will connect people with the right solutions sooner. This also means developing new initiatives where the existing opportunities are limited.
When not at work, John is all about learning, being creative and nature. He loves to paint, garden, hanging out with his dog Calley, and getting out on long walks in the countryside.
For enquiries about community development, contact John firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca has been with Scottish Families since October 2016. She has over 4 years’ experience working in communications for the third sector. Her personal focus areas are digital design, filmmaking, storytelling, campaigns, social media, and press relations.
Rebecca’s role at Scottish Families is to maximise our reach and engagement throughout Scotland and deliver our communications strategies using different methods, channels, and getting creative.
Rebecca is passionate about campaigning for recognition of dual diagnosis of mental health and addiction, supporting families (particularly young people affected by parent’s alcohol use) and developing online support tools for families.
When she’s not at work, Rebecca is a keen photographer and enjoys exploring Scotland with her fiancé Graham.
For press enquiries or anything comms-related contact Rebecca email@example.com
Sarah has been the Fundraising Manager at Scottish Families since October 2016. She has 10 years of experience working in fundraising, from bucket shaking to 10k trust applications and everything in between.
Sarah’s role at Scottish Families is to raise the money we need to keep providing support to families. Her favourite part of the job is meeting people across Scotland doing brave, weird or wonderful things to raise cash.
When not at work, Sarah is kept busy with her one-year-old son.
For any enquiries about fundraising with us, contact Sarah firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Programmes
Scott joined Scottish Families in March 2011, bringing both operational and quality and training management experience from former roles, including managing multi-channel contact centre health and lifestyle services.
Scott’s role as Head of Programmes covers responsibility for performance management, quality assurance, service development and improvement.
Scott is an associate member of CIPD and experienced trainer delivering on both internal and external workforce learning and development activities.
Scott is passionate that Scottish Families provides quality services in partnership with the families accessing them.
For enquiries about our training courses and feedback on our services, contact Scott email@example.com
Helpline Development Officer
Suzie (commonly known as Sooze) has been with Scottish Families since October 2014. She manages our national helpline including recruitment, training and ongoing supervision of our home-based helpline volunteers.
Suzie has over 25 years of telephony-based support, having previously worked with the emergency services.
Suzie’s role at Scottish Families is managing our national helpline to make sure families have access to support when and where they need it most. She works hard building partnerships with other organisations and services that may encounter struggling families and building referral pathways for Scottish Families to support them.
When she’s not at work, Sooze likes to sample cakes and coffee shops with her partner Andrew. She can also be found roaming around at River Garden Auchincruive usually with a bag of arts and crafts, having some top-class banter with the residents and staff.
She is also a keen volunteer in her home area. She is on the board of the local Housing Association, provides support to the Board of a local Hospice, and is a member of her local children’s panel.
For any enquiries about our helpline, service directory or helpline volunteering contact Suzie firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual Family Support Practitioner
Maureen initially joined Scottish Families in September 2012 for 2 years and returned to us in August 2016. She has over 7 years’ experience in working with people affected by alcohol and drugs. Her main focus areas are delivering one-to-one interventions, and advocacy and partnership working with other organisations.
Maureen’s role at Scottish Families involves working one-to-one with families delivering CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training). She works with families to increase their own wellbeing, improve communication with their loved ones, and supporting the whole family to begin their recovery journey.
Maureen is currently in her final year of a BA Hons Social Work degree at Strathclyde University, and is currenting undertaking research in the field of addiction as part of her final assessment.
Maureen can be contacted on email@example.com
Senior Virtual Family Support Practitioner
Senior Connecting Families Development Officer
Susie has been with Scottish Families since May 2014 and currently leads the Connecting Families programme of work. Susie’s role at Scottish Families is to increase capacity and sustainability and of family recovery throughout Scotland by building connections and opportunities to share experiences, learning, and ideas to create change.
Her main focus areas are to support community groups to access the Family Recovery Initiative Fund, connect leaders of family support groups into an emerging leadership network, pilot new approaches to empowering families such as the Family Recovery College, and organise partnership-based community events.
Away from work, Susie enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, especially if it involves the beach.
For a chat about the Family Recovery Initiative Fund, to get involved in our community events, to find out more about the Family Recovery College project or to join our Leadership Development Network for family support group leaders contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Forth Valley Family Support Development Officer
Lynne joined Scottish Families in November 2017. In the six years before joining the team, Lynne was an Addictions Support Worker, a role which allowed her to champion the message of Recovery.
This is a passion which remains with Lynne and as the Family Support Development Officer in Forth Valley with us, her role is to develop and deliver a range of family support services across Forth Valley.
Lynne engages with people in any way she can to help them feel supported, listened to and empowered to find recovery.
Away from work, Lynne loves spending time with friends and family, cooking, and sharing laughs.
For any enquiries about family support in Forth Valley, contact Lynne email@example.com
Virtual Family Support Practitioner
East Dunbartonshire Family Support Development Officer
Colin has been at Scottish Families since March 2019. He has experienced in the third sector over the last 6 years in outreach, assisted accommodation and Recovery and Rehabilitation with SAMH as well as a year with SMART Recovery as National Coordinator, Scotland.
Colin’s role at Scottish Families is to promote and develop the support that is available in East Dunbartonshire, supporting family members at support groups, drop-ins, and one-to-ones.
Colin’s passion is in supporting family members to endeavour to change their behaviours, however small, around their loved ones in their addiction and the chaos it can create.
Away from work, Colin enjoys walking and holidays with his partner as well as fitting in time with family and friends.
For any enquiries about our East Dunbartonshire support service, contact Colin firstname.lastname@example.org
Development Officer - Young People
Pamela has been with Scottish Families since April 2019. She has over 10 years’ experience supporting children and families in the third sector. Her main focus is to make sure young people are adequately supported to achieve their goals and able to live a life free of stigma.
Pamela’s role in the charity is to support young people aged 12-26 years, living in East and West Dunbartonshire that have been affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use. She works with the young people in co-production to develop a young person-led service.
Pamela’s main focus is on building relationships with young people and involving them in the running of the service. Challenging stigma, disadvantage, and exclusion faced by young people, she works with them to make sure they have equal access to services and support for their emotional and physical wellbeing.
When not at work, Pamela enjoys spending time with her husband and two children – always saving for that next big family adventure!
For any enquiries about our young person’s group, contact Pamela email@example.com
Connecting Families Development Officer
Ash has been with Scottish Families since March 2019. She is our Connecting Families Development Officer. In her role, Ash aims to connect with families and communities across Scotland to address stigma and increase support for people affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use.
Ash’s focus areas include the Family Recovery College, community partnership events, LGBTIQ+ inclusion, and community engagement projects and the provision of information and advice to family support groups across Scotland.
Ash has a background in social work and trained in Australia where she gained experience working in both communities based, health and therapeutic settings. Ash is passionate about critical practice and making sure her work embodies an understanding and response to the systemic and structural barriers that impact people’s lives.
Ash has worked in the areas of alcohol and other drugs, mental health, homelessness, critical care, and social work education. She has also researched young people’s experiences of intimate partner violence in the context of homelessness and has a long-standing interest in any commitment to improving LGBTIQ+ inclusion in drug and alcohol services.
When not at work, Ash is making travel plans, singing songs and learning pottery.
For any enquiries about the projects Ash is involved in, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Aberdeenshire Family Support Development Officer
Carly joined Scottish Families in July 2019, having previously worked with people in recovery from mental health, physical health, and substance use problems.
As the Family Support Development Officer for Aberdeenshire, Carly focuses on providing support to anyone affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use. She provides support on an individual basis, or within a support group setting.
Carly has a particular interest in health and wellbeing and thrives to help people live happy and healthy lives.
Outside of work, Carly enjoys walks with her dog and loves exploring different parts of the world.
For any enquiries about the Aberdeenshire family support service, contact Carly email@example.com
PA to CEO/Business Support Assistant
Aylice joined Scottish Families in October 2019. She has over 20 years of experience in admin in the Public Sector, mainly in Justice Services.
Aylice’s main role is as a Personal Assistant to our CEO Justina Murray and to provide business support to the whole team.
Aylice is committed to using her organisational and admin skills within public or third sector providers, where the main outcome is to support people to improve their lives.
Outside of work, Aylice spends most of her time with her four grandchildren and enjoys socialising with close friends and taking part in church activities.
For any enquiries about events, training, or anything general, contact Aylice firstname.lastname@example.org
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.