What is Alec
What is Alec

Your Community

What is ALEC?

We developed ALEC (Adult Learning & Empowering Communities) as a programme for change. We work with communities across Scotland and together we identify ways to strengthen connections and create opportunities for people to work together and support recovery.

Our ALEC toolkit can be used in a variety of ways to explore what is strong in the community, what matters to people and to support those involved to use community building techniques and encourage active community engagement.


ALEC Toolkit
ALEC Toolkit


Peer support and social connections are important when we look at who has the most influence in supporting recovery. The lived experiences of families are a hidden asset when it comes to finding the right way to support change and develop ways of working together. A family knows what it is like to live in their community and to deal with barriers that can stop or damage recovery.

With ALEC we can influence and change these barriers by making the strength of community more visible and accessible. With ALEC, communities will challenge stigma, reduce harm, and create recovery-friendly communities across Scotland. ALEC is for geographic communities and for communities of interest.

“Well-being is protected and promoted through strong social relationships – friends, family, and community.”

Phil Hanlon, Public Health, University of Glasgow

Spotlight on communities

“Families often don’t want to fixate on the substance use they live with, they actually want to explore opportunities to reach their full potential and do things that they really like to do. They don’t want the substance use in their family to define them. It’s not about services ‘fixing’ people, but about how they access what they need, when they need it.”

We have supported a number of communities using the ALEC toolkit including Falkirk Community Justice Partnership and Health & Social Care students at Forth-Valley College. Following the training that accompanies ALEC, social work staff, students, and the wider community were able to explore how local assets (people, institutions, businesses, associations and open spaces) could be used to create opportunities.

“By delivering this training to students, they were able to gain a qualification as a community champion and gain knowledge, understanding and tools to better support their peers with not only issues surrounding alcohol and drugs but mental health and wellbeing also.”

Amy Scobbie, Health, Wellbeing & Sport, Vice President at Forth-Valley College

“I found the whole course informative and enjoyed finding out what Scottish Families do. It has given me the incentive to explore the service and assets in my own area with the view to getting involved in some of them.”

Social Care Student

“I will use this training in my placement next year in college. I will consider volunteering for Scottish Families’ helpline.”

Social Care Student

How does ALEC work?

ALEC takes participants through a programme, using a range of experiential activities that are focused on a particular community or different types of community i.e. locality, thematic, interest, or practice.

How does ALEC Work ?
How does ALEC Work ?

Create your opportunity

How can Scottish Families help me using ALEC?

ALEC Flowchart
ALEC Flowchart

If you would like to learn more about ALEC – please use the Contact Form to make an enquiry.

Where is ALEC?

ALEC is active in the following places :

  • Peer mentor discussions with HMP Grampian
  • East-Ayrshire family support group
  • Inverclyde Your Voice


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