Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs is a national charity which supports anyone affected by 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.
We were established in 2003 by family members themselves who came together to support each other and to campaign for recognition. Today, we are recognised as Scotland’s leading charity for families affected by alcohol and drugs.
We provide both national and local support services. Each year we support family members from all Scotland’s 32 council areas, and from all walks of life. We know there is no single ‘type’ of family affected by substance use.
We rely on support from a variety of sources including trusts, grants, local authorities, businesses, events, and individuals in order to be able to provide our services. We are grateful to everyone who supports us financially. You can find out more about how we are funded here.
We have a number of local and national Family Support Services. Our national Family Support Services are Helpline, Bereavement Support, one-to-one Telehealth Support and Holding On. Our Local Family Support Services include one-to-one and group support in Aberdeenshire, East Dunbartonshire, Forth Valley, Fife, and Inverclyde. We also deliver workforce development through our training courses, communications and campaigning work, our Routes young person’s programme, and wider community development including our Connecting Families programme.
The Cost of Loving- Our Strategy 2023-2026
Cost of living pressures are increasing harm to many families affected by alcohol and drugs. This includes both direct harms (having less money and costs increasing) and also indirect harms (additional pressures increasing alcohol and drug use and levels of family stress – as with the COVID pandemic).
We are doing everything we can to reduce cost of living pressures for families, and to reach families where alcohol and drug harm has increased as a result.
However we are very aware that for families affected by a loved one’s alcohol or drug use, the cost of living is just one of the many, many challenges they face on a daily basis. It is only one of the multiple plates they have to keep spinning.
Our families face an everyday and ongoing crisis, which will outlive the timescale of the current financial situation. This is the Cost of Loving, a relentless and exhausting tally of financial, practical, relationship and emotional costs.
Our family member, Amanda Barr, created the striking artwork for our strategy (seen at the top of this page), powerfully illustrating this experience. We would like to thank Amanda for translating our words into such a memorable and powerful image.
Through our new Scottish Families strategy, we identify 8 ‘Big Questions’ around the Cost of Loving which we want to answer, to understand, highlight, and reduce these costs for families harmed by alcohol and drug use.
Our Big Questions include complex, uncomfortable and unrecognised issues, such as family members’ own serious mental health issues; what life is like for families whose loved ones are in recovery; and the stark implementation gap between what we say we will do in Scotland in policy and strategy, and what actually happens in practice.
What actions are we going to take?
Each year we will also publish a Cost of Loving Progress Report alongside the next year’s Delivery Plan on this page. The Progress Report will say how we are getting on with putting our Strategy into practice and answering our 8 Big Questions.
Download the Strategy as a PDF:
What Makes You Family?
When we say ‘family’, we mean who you see as your family. It could be your partner, your parent, your child or grandchild, your sibling, your friend, your colleagues, your neighbours, and anyone we may have missed. Our love and care for each other makes us family.
Family members taking part in our Ask the Family project (2021) found that an average of 11 people were harmed for each person using alcohol or drugs, across every single type of family relationship (including children, young people and adults) and all social networks (including friends, neighbours and work colleagues).
We Love Families!
Families are at the heart of everything we do at Scottish Families. Our relationship-based practice with families focuses on trust, respect, compassion and time.
We know that families affected by someone else’s substance use are often unsupported, excluded, isolated and judged by others. Many do not feel able to talk to anyone about what is going on, due to the secrecy, shame and stigma of alcohol and drug harm in families.
Our Ask the Family project (2021) found that on average family members had been harmed by alcohol or drug use for 16 years, but it had taken them 8 years to reach family support for the first time.
We recognise and respect families’ strengths, experience and expertise. Together we develop knowledge, skills, confidence, self-care and connections.
We have five Outcomes that underpin all our work. These Outcomes act as a framework for everything we do. They are easy to understand and communicate to others. These Outcomes act as a framework for all of our work at Scottish Families. We use them to plan and organise our work, and to report on our progress.
- Families are Supported
- Families are Included
- Families are Heard
- Families are Connected
- Families Create Change
My Family, My Rights
We use a rights-based framework which recognises that family members have the right to health, the right to a life free from the harms of alcohol and drugs, and the right to family life.
They have the right to be supported in their own right, and to be included in their loved one’s treatment and care. They also have the right to be active partners in decisions which affect them, and for their views to be heard.
We know that families’ rights are rarely recognised or upheld by others. Our role includes supporting family members to recognise and access their rights, and to effectively advocate for themselves and their loved ones.
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.
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
Sarah has been the Fundraising Manager at Scottish Families since October 2016. She has over 15 years of experience working in fundraising, from bucket shaking to trust applications and everything in between.
Sarah’s role at Scottish Families is predominantly raising money through trusts and grants. Additionally, she sits on the SMT. She is motivated by bringing new funders and supporters to the charity, helping grow and develop everything Scottish Families can achieve. She is passionate about small charities and volunteers running micro-grant giving organisation Awesome Glasgow in her spare time.
When not at work she enjoys reading, sleeping and spending time with her young son.
For any enquiries about fundraising with us, contact Sarah firstname.lastname@example.org
Programme Manager - 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 – she then became the Programme Manager for young people in 2022!
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 Routes, contact Claire email@example.com
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
Senior 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 her role is to support the local services teams across Scotland to develop practice and enhance service delivery.
Lynne engages with people in any way she can to help them feel supported, listened to and empowered to make positive changes.
Away from work, Lynne loves spending time with friends and family, cooking, and sharing laughs.
For any enquiries about family support, contact Lynne email@example.com
Senior Virtual Family Support Practitioner
Martha joined Scottish Families in 2015 providing local family support as a Family Support Development Officer in Forth Valley before changing roles in 2017. She is now based in Glasgow delivering and coordinating our Bereavement service as a Senior Virtual Family Support Practitioner. She is also currently working on establishing a volunteering programme for Scottish Families.
Martha has been working in the alcohol and drug field since she left university in 2009 and brings this experience with her when supporting families.
Believing strongly that families should always have support in their own right, Martha loves providing a listening ear and support to families and helping them to forge their way through sometimes unpredictable and unsettling experiences.
Outside of work, Martha spends most of her time with her family, but if her two young kids allow it, she enjoys weight lifting and going to gigs.
Senior Virtual Family Support Practitioner
Gill has been with Scottish Families since November 2018. Gill works on our Telehealth service delivering CRAFT to family members. She also works on our bereavement service setting up counselling sessions for family members. Gill has seven years of experience of working in an alcohol and drug treatment service in a Local Authority. Before this Gill worked with young people experiencing homelessness, trauma and addiction.
Gill’s experience to date forms her passion of working with family members. Gill has always felt that families should have the right to their own support. As well as often being an integral part in their loved one’s recovery families have to be recognised in their own right.
In her spare time, Gill can usually be found spending time with her two children. Days off can range from adventures in the park to cosy afternoons in the house. Gill also enjoys going to the gym to switch off and spending time with her husband and friends.
Senior Family Support Development Officer - Young People
Pam started in April 2019 when our Routes project began, Scottish Families first ever young person’s service. Her role was to support young people aged 12-16 who have been affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use. Pam worked on the Routes project for 3 years before leaving to manage Y Sort It Youth Services. After a short time away, Pam returned to a more senior role within the Routes team and is currently the Senior Family Support Development Officer for Young People.
Pam is passionate about giving young people the tools in life to succeed with an emphasis on improving education attainments and creating opportunities for them to learn new skills. Giving young people the courage to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams. Young people’s voices are central to the success of Routes building a sense of autonomy that encourages engagement with staff and their peers, creating core happy memories for them.
When not at work Pam enjoys spending time with her husband and teenage children going on holidays for quality family time.
Development Officer (National Support and Harm Reduction)
Kim joined Scottish Families in September 2023 as our Development Officer (National Support and Harm Reduction), leading the operational delivery of the National Helpline and Take-Home Naloxone, as well as supporting the development and delivery of the Bereavement Support Service.
Kim started her career in marketing and project management but sought a change, inspiring her to complete a Master of Science degree in Psychology. Her experience varies from managing multinational programmes to working in the NHS in a mental health crisis context, supporting adults and young people suffering from mental health and substance use problems. Kim is passionate about improving mental health and family support services for the Scottish public and breaking stigmas related to substance use and mental illness.
In her free time, Kim likes to hobby jump between reading, video games, sewing, and DIY. She always has her next holiday planned and hopes to travel as far and wide as possible.
Communications Development Officer
Rebecca has been the Communications Development Officer with Scottish Families since October 2016. She has several years of experience in storytelling and creating content for different communication channels such as websites and social media.
Rebecca’s role at Scottish Families is to communicate our impact, support families to use their voices and share their stories, support all of our services with their comms needs, and maximise our reach and engagement throughout Scotland. She personally enjoys getting to chat with family members and supporting them in sharing their stories, plus being creative and trying all kinds of ways to share impact is something she really loves!
When she’s not at work, Rebecca enjoys being a wildlife photographer and travelling around Scotland.
Family Support Development Officer - East Dunbartonshire
Colin has been at Scottish Families since March 2019. He has experience in the third sector 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
Family Support Development Officer - Aberdeenshire
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
Family Support Development Officer - Fife
Kirsten joined the team in July 2021. She graduated from the Scottish Drugs Forum Addiction Workers Training Project in July 2015, attaining an SVQ2 in Health and Social Care with an emphasis on addiction, trauma and mental health and has since attained the SVQ3.
She has been working in the third sector since graduating, working in a rehabilitation service supporting adults affected by their own substance use. She also volunteered with a local youth service delivering drug, alcohol, sexual health and keeping safe sessions in schools and 16+ groups.
Kirsten is herself 12 years in recovery and is passionate about helping others find stability and calm. She feels strongly about challenging the stigma around addiction and breaking down the barriers of accessing treatment.
Away from work, she loves spending time with her husband and son in the garden or on nature walks, visiting her daughter in Glasgow, and looking after her many small animals. She is at the happiest hosting family gathering in her garden, bringing her clan together for food, music and dancing – all her favourite things!
You can contact Kirsten at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Support Development Officer - Fife
Yvonne joined Scottish Families in June 2022. She has over 20 years working as a registered nurse in the NHS and most recently worked as an Addiction Nurse for NHS Fife. Yvonne is also attending Fife College to study Counselling.
As a Family Support Development Officer, Yvonne aims to provide support to anyone affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use. The team in Fife has expanded to bring support to families through one-to-one support or within a group setting. Yvonne is passionate about instilling hope in others and helping to bring about change.
Outside of work, Yvonne spends quality time with her partner and daughter. Their dog, Rosie, brings joy to their lives and they all enjoy going on walks together. Yvonne’s other passion is holistic therapies and once trained she hopes to bring this service to families in Fife.
Family Inclusive Practice Development Officer
Daryl joined Scottish Families in November 2020. Prior to working for Scottish Families, Daryl studied Psychology and spent over 10 years working as a Recovery Worker in Substance Misuse Services in Scotland and Suffolk. This role has also allowed him to work directly with affected family members.
Daryl joined as our Family Support Development Officer for Inverclyde, he has taken on a secondment with us in June 2023 as our Family Inclusive Practice Development Officer.
He enjoys engaging with people in a warm and empathetic way and loves helping people work towards the changes they want to make. He is really passionate about the role of family members in recovery, and the incredible influence the right support can have in helping family members find their way through tricky situations.
Away from work, Daryl enjoys spending time with his young family, going for walks, music and travelling. He is known to enjoy the finest Italian ice creams that Scotland has to offer!
Family Support Development Officer - Forth Valley
Lena joined Scottish Families in November 2020. She has over twenty years experience of working in the third sector, in both paid and voluntary positions, and qualified as a counsellor in 2005. Most recently, Lena worked in a primary school where she provided a counselling service to pupils. Prior to this, she has been employed as a Recovery Support Worker and as a counsellor working with both adults and young people affected by their own or someone else’s drug or alcohol use.
Lena is passionate about engaging with people, working in ways that support them to find their own solutions to their situations. She particularly enjoys working with groups and values the enriching experience this can be for participants.
Lena’s role at Scottish Families involves supporting the delivery of the Forth Valley Family Support Service and includes delivering community-based services that specifically address the needs of families affected by alcohol and drugs.
Away from work, Lena loves reading; long walks in the countryside; having family and friends over for home-cooked meals; holidays and oodles of time spent with her husband, three children and two big, hairy dogs.
For any enquiries about our Forth Valley Support Service, you can contact Lena at email@example.com.
Family Support Development Officer - Young People
Charli joined Scottish Families in June 2022. She is a Family Support Development Officer for our Routes team. Charli previously worked with NHS24 as a Physiological Wellbeing Practitioner within the mental health hub. Her past work experience has been within mental health and learning disabilities.
Charli was attracted to working with Routes due to lived experiences with substance problems and mental health difficulties in her own family. She says she now feels in a position to use her experiences positively to support others, especially the young generation with their own experiences of substance problems in the family. She is also currently studying a part-time Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy training to become a qualified counsellor.
Away from work, Charli loves to be outdoors – out on her paddleboard when the weather is good or exploring Scotland with her fiancé and dog in their campervan. She has always been involved in different sports growing up and currently enjoys doing Crossfit.
Family Support Development Officer - Young People
Angela joined Scottish Families in June 2022 as a Family Support Development Officer for our Routes young person’s group in East and West Dunbartonshire. She has over 30 years of experience working in children and young people services. And for the past 13 years working for the voluntary services, supporting families in their communities through childcare, parenting resources, advocacy and getting parents back into employment.
When not working, Angela enjoys spending time with family and friends and walking her dog. She loves travelling to different cities and going to concerts (all kinds of genres of music). Her favourite pastime is reading, especially science fiction.
Programme Development Officer - Young People
Jess joined Scottish Families in June 2022. She has a psychology degree, an NLP Therapy qualification, and a swim teacher qualification.
Jess enjoys connecting with young people and being her true self around them to build real connections. She enjoys finding out their interests and researching them so she can talk knowledgeably about it with them. She has a passion for supporting young people in finding positive experiences and realising their potential.
When Jess is not at work, she loves gardening, hiking, and playing the piano.
Family Support Development Officer - Inverclyde
Rachel joined Scottish Families in June 2023. Prior to working for Scottish Families, Rachel worked within Employability, supporting individuals from a variety of backgrounds to overcome barriers and live the life they wanted.
Rachel’s role at Scottish Families is to promote and develop the support that is available in Inverclyde, supporting family members at support groups, drop-ins, and one-to-ones.
She really enjoys building positive relationships with people, supporting, and empowering them to achieve and live the life they want. She is passionate about change and ensuring family members are involved in these processes and wants to ensure that support is provided to help family members through whatever situation they may find themselves in.
Away from work, Rachel enjoys going to the gym and meeting up with friends and family. She loves her food and chilling out on the couch with a good series and bar of chocolate.
Family Support Officer - Aberdeenshire
Katie joined Scottish Families in May 2023 as our Family Support Officer in Aberdeenshire and supports families within the local area, offering both one to one and group support sessions.
Katie has a background in marketing and higher education, for the last few years she has worked for a third sector organisation, running a personal development programme for parents within Aberdeenshire. Katie discovered her passion for helping others to become their most confident selves, facilitating space for parents to feel safe, share knowledge and grow together as individuals.
In her spare time Katie enjoys listening to music, reading when she can, cooking meals for her friends and family and long walks with her dog Lucy.
Connecting Families Development Officer
Debra joined Scottish Families in June 2021 as Connecting Families Development Officer. Throughout her career, she has worked in human services in the Statutory, Voluntary and Private Sectors and worked with and alongside many families in different roles and circumstances in both Scotland and England.
Since moving to the West Coast of Scotland, she has worked in Advocacy and Substance Misuse Services working in collaboration with families and activists to establish new recovery and family support groups and venues, giving her the opportunity to spend time with and get to know individuals who often feel unheard and disempowered. Debra passionately believes that with the right support and time, people can find strength in the most fragile of times, and their shared experiences can be an inspiration to many.
In her spare time, she loves walking with her dogs and she has varied interests from an online Shakespeare group to clown workshops to Netflix! She also goes on annual silent retreats in keeping with her Buddhist beliefs.
For any enquiries about Connecting Families, contact Debra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connecting Families Development Officer
Richard joined the team in June 2021 as Connecting Families Development Officer. He is passionate about improving quality and access to services for families. Previously he worked with the Department of Work and Pensions where he developed their addictions strategy and promoted a trauma-informed approach. He has used his own lived experiences of addiction, bereavement and recovery, and the impact that has on families in his previous roles as a Civil Servant and as an active member of various recovery communities. He has sat on the Scottish Government Drug Death Task Force (DDTF) where he focused on addressing where multiple complex needs contribute to drug harm. He also helped develop the DDTF stigma charter which he hopes will be embraced across Scotland.
Richard says one of his greatest achievements is being a father to his two daughters who have walked his recovery journey with him and are a testimony to the fact that families can meet any challenge with support and love. He likes running and is a bit of a specialist coffee fan.
For any enquiries about Connecting Families, contact Richard at email@example.com.
My Family My Rights Development Officer
Kerry joined us temporarily in summer 2022 as a course advisor to assist with developing our My Family My Rights 11 week course sessions. From this, she joined us as our My Family My Rights Development Officer in November 2022. She currently works alongside our virtual support team and has established her own client base within our one-to-one support service. Kerry’s role incorporates empowering individuals to self-advocate on behalf of themselves and loved ones, whilst helping them to recognise their legal rights and understanding the process of how to address when they are being breached. She also develops and facilitates the delivery of the My Family My Rights skill sessions course which runs several times throughout the year.
Kerry previously studied social care and social services with the aim to become a fully qualified family social worker, but changed her mind after her third year. She decided social work would be too restrictive and not the best use of her qualifications, alongside her many years of lived experience as a child and adult affected by someone else’s substance use. She previously worked in a role with Barnardo’s as a peer researcher for care-experienced parents prior to joining us.
In her free time, Kerry loves spending time with her daughter, family and friends.
Sarah O Hare
Virtual Family Support Practitioner
Sarah joined the team in July 2021 as a Virtual Family Support Practitioner, delivering both Telehealth and Holding On. Children and young people were at the heart of her previous experience, as well as working in the voluntary sector.
Sarah was a volunteer counsellor at Childline for 5 years and has supported families in a hospice setting, and school/community settings. In a previous role, she delivered an evidence-based family therapy model to young people and their families to reduce the risk of relationship breakdown and accommodation. She is passionate about improving family relationships and empowering families.
In her spare time, she takes her rescue greyhound on long walks. Sarah also enjoys travelling and getting to see the world, going to live comedy and considers herself a bit of a foodie!
Shana joined us in November 2021 with a background in hospitality, after nearly a decade working in various restaurants and coffee shops, she is determined to utilise her skills to make a positive impact within the third sector. Since moving to Glasgow, she has been involved in various PR and Marketing campaigns within hospitality and most recently started volunteering as a Communications Consultant for Scottish Fair Trade Forum.
As Communications Assistant her focus is on maximising our engagement across all media channels, and increasing awareness and support throughout Scotland. Shana is passionate about using the power of social media to make real change and believes it is a key tool when highlighting the effects alcohol and drugs can have on families.
Outside of work Shana enjoys running and training for various events, as well as exploring the North of Scotland with her dog on weekends.
You can contact Shana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Support Officer - Forth Valley
Gillian joined Scottish Families in November 2020 as Family Support Officer for our Forth Valley Family Support Service. Gillian first started working in social care 14 years ago in youth homelessness and then progressed into criminal justice and addictions.
She discovered that her strengths lay in relationship building, empowering people to find their voice and supporting them to use it. Gillian calls herself a people person and plans to continue progressing in this area.
Eve graduated (virtually) in July 2020 from Glasgow Caledonian with a degree in Social Sciences, specialising in Sociology and Criminology. Eve became involved with Scottish Families as a volunteer helpline advisor in mid-2019 before joining as our Helpline Support Assistant in January 2021.
Eve’s voluntary experience with Scottish Families enabled her to appreciate the value of providing recognition to individuals who may feel that their perspectives and struggles are often overlooked. Eve has also worked in social care as a mental health support worker, supporting individuals to live independently within their local community.
Eve holds the firm belief that families of those with drug and alcohol issues should feel visible, supported, and empowered in feeling best able to support both their loved ones and themselves as individuals.
Eve enjoys attending live music events and festivals, as well as going on city breaks across Europe. She loves to read and is a strong proponent of the benefits that reading can provide for our mental health and emotional wellbeing. In 2020, Eve read 30 books!
Family Support Assistant - Forth Valley
Brian joined Scottish Families in March 2023 as a Family Support Assistant with our Forth Valley Family Support Service.
Brian previously worked for the UK’s largest disabled persons’ organisation where he supported disabled people into employment, volunteering, and education. He led on the organisation’s work on reducing poverty and tackling hate crime.
He has worked in both the public and the third sector supporting those facing exclusion, discrimination, and deprivation. He is passionate about providing person-led services; the value of peer support and empowering people to use their voice to change society.
In his spare time Brian loves spending time with his family and enjoys running, walking, reading, and live music.
Family Support Assistant - Fife
Maria joined Scottish Families in June 2022 as our Family Support Assistant for our Fife Family Support Service. She was raised in Madrid and has always been a people person. She had her first contact with communities when she joined CNT union. Working there for 7 years, she was involved in helping people with their working rights, and building community and centring efforts in building community and mutual aid.
Maria moved to Scotland in 2017 and after a few years of finding her feet in a new country, she went back to volunteering and decided to do an access course to university so she could get the qualifications which would allow her to get her dream job helping people. She is about to start her second year of MA Learning in Communities at the University of Edinburgh and is passionate about her role as Family Support Assistant at Scottish Families.
When she’s not working or studying, she enjoys her time off with her boyfriend and her wee dog Rain or meeting friends. She also tries to escape to Madrid as often as she can to visit her friends and family there.
Business Support Officer
Andrew joined Scottish Families in March 2023 to provide much-needed business and finance support across the whole organisation.
Andrew has over 19 years’ experience of working in various admin and finance roles, most recently as a business administration manager with Refugee Survival Trust. He has worked across all sectors but prefers working in the voluntary sector for organisations that aim to improve people’s quality of life and address the social and political barriers to support that people often face. His new role at Scottish Families will involve providing business and admin support across the whole of Scottish Families whilst working closely with Justina and Aylice to develop, improve and maintain organisational and finance systems.
Outside of work, Andrew likes to spend his spare time going to the gym, eating, visiting cat cafes and travelling. He especially enjoys touring with his favourite band who he has now seen in over 20 countries.
PA to CEO/Business Support Officer
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 email@example.com
Helpline Support Assistant
Maureen joined Scottish Families in November 2021 after having previously been employed as a support practitioner working with people with complex emotional and physical needs. She has extensive experience in phone-based customer service roles which she gave up to return to university to gain her pg. diploma in community development.
Maureen is passionate about the principles of community and development, and how communities can come together to address issues of social inclusion within those communities. Working with Scottish Families allows her to witness first-hand who much this collaborating work can achieve for the lives of those affected by their loved one’s drug and alcohol use.
When not at work she enjoys hanging out with her daughter, usually carrying her musical equipment from one gig to the other or catching up with friends and their families.
You can contact Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clare joined Scottish Families in June 2021 as our Community Fundraiser. She has worked in the third sector for over 9 years and is something she feels very passionate about. Clare graduated in Events Management in 2019. Her studies, coupled with several years volunteering with charities close to her heart, led her to develop a strong desire for creating events that raise funds and awareness for charities.
Clare works alongside our Fundraising Manager Sarah and together they raise the vital money needed for Scottish Families to continue delivering our services.
Outside of work, Clare enjoys going for long walks, playing netball and spending time with family and friends.
For any enquiries about fundraising with us or volunteering at events, contact Clare at email@example.com.
Support Assistant - Young People
Anna has a psychology degree and mental health support work experience in both the public and voluntary sectors. Many things drew her to working with the Routes project. Positive health and wellbeing is something she has forever been passionate about.
Anna has always been involved with sports and athletics in her spare time, and enjoys playing netball and going on runs. She currently does afterschool netball coaching where she loves seeing the players thrive and practice their skills in a relaxed environment. She is passionate about encouraging and supporting young people to test and try as many new activities as possible as feels developing healthy habits and new hobbies is so important for us.
When not working, Anna enjoys socialising with my friends and family, walking her dog in the country and when possible, to explore new places either abroad or across Scotland.
She enjoys a good book and singing along to music whilst cooking a nice meal for the family.
Support Assistant - Young People
Kelsey joins the Routes team having previously worked as a Young Carers Support Worker bringing a wealth of knowledge of young carers’ rights and entitlements. Kelsey is passionate about supporting young people to achieve their goals.
Kelsey enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, and canoeing. She looks forward to getting to know all the young people and taking them to activities that bring out their best. Kelsey has an honours degree in Sports Studies, along with a counselling certificate which will work together, providing wellbeing and healthy living knowledge, while also giving a shoulder to lean on.
Kelsey recently got engaged on her travels around Canada and is always planning her next big adventure.
Befriending and Volunteering Assistant
Kiera joined Scottish Families in January 2023 as the Befriending and Volunteering Assistant. She is working alongside Martha to establish a Befriending service and develop a volunteering programme for the organisation.
Kiera’s previous working experience is as a Mental Health Worker and feels passionate about promoting positive mental health through building social connections. By supporting families to be active members in the community and having someone to confide in and trust, Kiera hopes that the volunteering and befriending schemes will empower families. She also has a degree in History and a qualification to teach English as a foreign language.
Outside of work, Kiera is a big music fan, enjoys going to gigs and festivals, and loves travelling.
Policy and Research Assistant
Marianna joined Scottish Families as a Policy and Research Assistant in January 2023, after graduating with a degree in criminology. She has long held a passion for bringing various communities’ voices, especially those that are marginalised, to the forefront of research, policy, education, and programme development, bringing this to her role at Scottish Families. In the past, she has been involved with community volunteering, teaching English, and education development, and working with people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds.
In her off time, Marianna loves exploring the outdoors, finding new recipes to cook, and making jewellery.
Support Assistant - Young People
Emma recently graduated from university with a degree in environmental geography and has worked alongside children and young people for 5 years. This has given her important experience which encouraged her to join the Scottish Families team.
Emma enjoys many different sports including hockey and rugby and is currently captain of the women’s rugby team at her local club. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and being outdoors paddleboarding or finding new places to explore with her dog.
She has a passion for building meaningful relationships and helping young people create important memories by supporting them and encouraging them to try new things.
Family Support Assistant - Inverclyde
Jordan joined the team at Scottish Families in October 2023, as a Family Support Assistant within our Inverclyde Service.
In 2022, Jordan graduated with a 2:1 degree in Commercial Music from the University of the West of Scotland and soon progressed onto working within the recovery/employability sector. After graduating, Jordan took on the role of a Young Person’s Recovery Coach at Glasgow Council on Alcohol where she supported individuals between the ages of 16-24 to build their confidence, skills and work towards their own positive destination. Additionally, she also had the opportunity to learn key employability skills and assist within the Elevate service to help individuals in recovery progress onto employment, education and training.
Jordan has a passion for people and is dedicated to helping people, in whichever capacity possible and enjoys exploring how her experience in music can integrate within mental health, recovery and community justice. Outside of work, Jordan enjoys spending time with her friends, checking out independent businesses and writing songs.
Andrina joined the Board in 2022. She currently works for a Health and Social Care Partnership and has over 30 years in the public sector working in a range of operational and strategic roles. Andrina’s previous experience of managing alcohol and drug services, her passion for tackling inequalities and her desire to get more involved in volunteering drew her to Scottish Families.
When Andrina isn’t working you will find her open water swimming in the River Clyde.
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, 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.
James joined the Board in March 2020. He currently works in the Scottish Government and has over 10 years’ experience in the civil service working in a range of economic and financial policy roles. James’s personal experience drew him to Scottish Families and the crucial work they do in supporting families affected by alcohol and drugs. In his spare time, he enjoys running, playing football, and exploring the outdoors with his young family.
Kaye joined the board in 2022 and currently works for a Residential Social Landlord where she has over 20 years of experience with this sector.
Kaye holds a degree in Criminology and is currently studying for a master’s degree. Her previous work experience includes working within criminal justice and drug and alcohol services as a senior practitioner and then later as a strategic lead – this is what has driven her passion for tackling inequality and homelessness and the requirement for policy change.
Her personal experiences are the reason she was drawn to the fantastic work of Scottish Families and she wants to empower all family members to have a voice for family inclusive practice.
When she is not working, Kaye enjoys any kind of sports and gym, and marshal for motorsport.
Guido Noto La Diega
Guido (they/he) joined the board in November 2022. Guido is a Sicily-born Scotland-based lawyer and academic teaching and researching law and technology at the University of Stirling, where they coordinate the Intellectual Property and Media Law courses, chair the Scottish Law and Innovation Network, direct the Just AI Lab, and are Vice-Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
Bringing experience in private law, human rights, and the third sector, Guido was a trustee and executive committee member of the Society of Legal Scholars, the largest and oldest learned society for law academics in the UK and Ireland, and has been volunteering in charities for decades, especially in the anti-mafia and LGBTQ+ sectors.
Guido’s passion for inclusivity and intersectionality as well as their personal experiences led them to join Scottish Families, in the firm conviction that the best way to help those affected by drugs and alcohol is to help their loved ones.
Rachel joined the board in 2022 and currently works for a large litigation firm where she has over 10 years of experience with this sector.
Rachel holds a Law LLB (Hons) and an LLM, having attended both the University of Glasgow and University of Strathclyde. She is currently a practicing Scottish solicitor. Her previous experience of working with individuals affected by drugs and alcohol and their families, together with her desire to get more involved in volunteering drew her to Scottish Families.
When she is not working, Rachel enjoys walking, or rather being walked by, her two labradors, Ivy and Harley along the Clyde walkway come rain or shine.