The Family Recovery Initiative Fund


The Family Recovery Initiative Fund offers one-off grants of up to £1500 to groups that support families affected by alcohol and drugs in Scotland. The Fund is designed to support independent groups led by family/ community members and is particularly keen to encourage applications from people wishing to set up a new group. The Fund also accepts applications from existing groups.

The aim of the Family Recovery Initiative Fund is to improve the wellbeing of family members affected by someone else’s substance misuse. Wellbeing is improved by social inclusion, because people connect with other people, can participate in group activities, and can access support.

The Family Recovery Initiative Fund is funded by the Scottish Government Substance Misuse Unit. It is administered by Corra Foundation with support from Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (Scottish Families).

What can the funding support?

The Family Recovery Initiative Fund can support a variety of activities. Here are some examples:

Set up costs

To cover the set-up costs for a new family support group.

Running costs

To assist with group running costs such as room hire, heating and lighting.


To pay for training relevant to setting up and running a support group.


To meet the cost of organising family support group events.


To raise awareness of your group and its activities.


To enable group members to travel to events locally or nationally.


To fund activity costs such as paying people to run group sessions.


To link with other groups and share ideas locally and nationally.

For even more ideas have a look at this Scottish Families ideas map.

What difference has it made?

The Family Recovery Initiative Fund opened on 7th March 2018 and to date, the fund has awarded 64 grants; a total of £90,280.

Flourish in Ardrossan

Flourish in Ardrossan

Elizabeth Kerr and Claire Tatlow, group leaders of a brand-new group Flourish said:

‘Looking forward to launching Flourish in Ardrossan in the New Year. We are offering support for families affected by addiction and mental health issues in the area. We are currently checking out suitable premises and have recently completed the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) so will be offering this help also. Excited to see what 2019 brings and very grateful to have found Scottish Families and all the help they have provided. Bring it on!’

“It was such a relief to be able to buy anything we thought would enhance our meetings and invest in great training and resources that will be used (by group members). I felt very valued because you gave this money to this group and it really encouraged me. I am used to doing things on the cheap and I feel I want to look into more funding and fundraising so I can offer a good quality service that makes people feel their worth.”

Scottish Families East Dunbartonshire

Scottish Families East Dunbartonshire

The East Dunbartonshire Scottish Families support group used their funding to go on a few nights away. Here’s a few of the group sharing about their experience:

“What a fabulous time I’ve had! Fab food, fab company, fab house- so comfortable –a home from home (or even better!). Thanks so much to Claire from Scottish Families & Maggie from FAST group for arranging it all but especially to the funders who have helped them bring a bit of joy, comfort & escape from the stresses of home. Such a relaxing time.”

“It was a rare chance for us to have a precious break from the stresses and pressures of living with someone with addiction problems. This trip not only benefited us, but also our families, as we returned with our batteries charged and more able to face whatever life throws at us. It was a time of much needed relaxation, fun and learning. All in all, absolutely fabulous!”

New Community Wellbeing Café in Forfar

New Community Wellbeing Café in Forfar

Laura Kerr tells us about the new community wellbeing café in Forfar:

“We received £1500 funding from the FRIF in September 2018 to develop a community wellbeing café in Forfar following the success of the Well Bean Café that had been established in Montrose in 2015. We had a very successful launch on 23 October where around 80 community members, people with lived experience and professionals came together for lunch and music provided by a local recovery group RecoverTay.  Following this, the café has operated every Tuesday lunchtime with growing numbers every week. The most recent count saw 26 community members and 10 staff and volunteers visiting the café.

“The café provides a safe and welcoming, family friendly space for anyone in the community and promotes health and wellbeing. There are a number of services that support the café and provide workers to attend to support anyone that requires it. These include local drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services, carers, housing and mental health services. People in recovery have the opportunity to volunteer within the café and we have a large number of volunteers already filling the various roles available. People who visit reported that it has helped them with their mental health, to meet new people and it gets them out of the house.”

Aberdeen in Recovery

Aberdeen in Recovery

Dermot from Aberdeen in Recovery tells us about the training the group received from Scottish Families:

“We were able to use the bulk of the grant to have Scottish Families come up to Aberdeen and deliver their ALEC toolkit programme to a class of 14 Family members over two days. Our attending members have gone on to use the learning from the course to assist them in their endeavours to find better ways and alternate opportunities to engage with other families who may be looking for support but do not know how or where this can be availed.”

Midlothian Family Support Group

Midlothian Family Support Group

Sandra Holmes from the Midlothian Family Support Group tells us what she bought for her group using the grant:

“The Grant helped by allowing us to buy 4 sofas, lamps, cushions, and a coffee table. To create a room that is comfortable and makes family members feel at ease. It also allowed for me and another member of the group to train as craft facilitators to enhance our knowledge. We have bought books and encouraged our group to grow. Thank you.”


If you have had funding from FRIF previously, please get in touch if you would like to apply for funding for a different project/proposal.

If you are interested in applying for a grant from the Family Recovery Initiative Fund, the first step is to contact Debra Nelson or Tich Watson at Scottish Families to discuss your idea.

Debra Nelson: 07379 830357  or

Tich Watson: 07775 252380 or 

Download Application Form

FRIF Application Form

Other Funds Available

If you have been a recipient of the Family Recovery Initiative Fund, you may now want to consider the options for further funding set out below. Applying for these funds may create some additional actions, for example, becoming constituted, establishing a management committee or a board and getting familiar with evaluating your activities. Scottish Families can discuss these requirements with you and help you find the information and advice you need to meet these criteria.

National Mission Fund

The First Minister announced a new national mission to reduce drug-related deaths and harms in January 2021. This is supported by an investment of £50 million per year for the next five years. The Scottish Government are making £18 million of this available through four funds. These funds will be available for this year, and the next four years.

The Local Support Fund – Micro Grants – Fund value: £5 million per year

This fund is focused on community-based organisations which deliver frontline services to support people who use drugs, people who are in recovery and their families. The Scottish Government is aware that organisations providing this vital support often exist on shoestring budgets and are stretched to their limits. This fund is intended to help these organisations to stabilise or increase capacity, extend services, and provide further reach into the community. This is a rolling fund meaning you can apply at any time.

Full information here.

Improvement Fund – Fund value: £5 million per year

Funding rounds will be conducted annually from 2021 to 2025 for the Improvement Fund.  The improvement Fund has closed for awards in 2022.

Full information here.

Children and Families – Fund value: £3 million per year

Funding rounds will be conducted annually from 2021 to 2025. The Children and Families fund closes on 4th November 2021 for awards in 2022.

Full information here.

Recovery Fund – Fund Value: £5 million per year

The Recovery Fund seeks to improve access to residential rehabilitation. Applications for the first cycle: 1st July 2021- 1st November 2021. Updated guidance for the second cycle will be published in December 2021.

Full information here.

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