The Family Recovery Initiative Fund

The Family Recovery Initiative Fund (FRIF) offers one-off grants of up to £5000 to groups that support families affected by alcohol and drugs in Scotland.

The aim of FRIF is to improve the wellbeing of family members affected by someone else’s harmful substance use based on creating opportunities for people to connect with other people through group activities, and if required, access further support (with this group or through services).

The Family Recovery Initiative Fund is funded by the Scottish Government Drugs Policy Unit and is supported and managed by Scottish Families.

What can the funding support?

The following is a range of examples of what has been funded through the FRIF: weekly rent for premises, travel expenses, digital inclusion, printing costs, kinship carer group activities, art therapy, equine therapy, CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training), kinship carer visit to Scottish Parliament, family recovery events, and furnishings for a dedicated family support space in an NHS building. During covid and beyond, digital inclusion has become a more prominent need that this fund has helped to fulfil, through the purchase of data bundles and IT equipment for group use.


To apply to the fund your group will need:

  • 2 or more individuals who have an aspiration to change the lives of people who are affected by someone else’s substance use
  • An organisational bank account or an agreement with another organisation that will ‘host’ your funding
  • An annual income of less than £50,000
  • This fund is specifically aimed at groups offering support for families
  • The fund welcomes applications from all communities and all areas of Scotland

If you are an un-constituted group, or you are thinking of starting a new group, and you do not have an organisational bank account, you may be able to apply with the help of a partner organisation.

We will advise the local Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) that you have made an application to this fund. ADPs are the local authority responsible for commissioning evidence-based, person-centred and recovery-focused treatment and support services to meet the needs of their populations. When we contact your ADP we will also include you in the e-mail by way of introduction.

You can also look at the National Mission Funds on Corra’s website for different funds you can apply for.

What difference has it made?

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 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

How your application will be processed:

Awards will be agreed by a panel including family representatives who will decide how funding should be distributed to align with the purpose of the fund.

Applications will be reviewed within 4-6 weeks of receipt. You will be notified of the outcome by email.

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