Scottish charity (us!!) for families affected by alcohol and drug use wins top national health award

National charity Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs has won a major UK award for its work supporting anyone concerned about someone else’s alcohol or drug use in Scotland. Their innovative ‘click and deliver’ service, providing the drug naloxone which can reverse an opioid-related overdose, was just one of its services praised by the award judges.

Following a rigorous selection and assessment process, Scottish Families was chosen from more than 350 charities across the UK as one of the 10 winners of the 2022 GSK IMPACT Awards. Now in their 25th year, the awards are designed to recognise the outstanding work of small and medium sized charities working to improve people’s health and wellbeing in the UK. This year winners will receive £40,000 in unrestricted funding as well as expert support and leadership development provided by leading health and care charity The King’s Fund.

Substance use remains a major issue in Scotland, with 2,529 people losing their lives to alcohol and drugs in 2020. The number of drug-related deaths was 5% more than in 2019 and 2020 saw the highest increase of alcohol-specific deaths registered since 2008.

Scottish Families offers support to people whose loved ones are living with an alcohol or drug issue. The charity works across Scotland to increase awareness of the impact drug and alcohol use has on family members, who can experience psychological distress, mental and physical ill health, domestic violence, and financial issues.  Their work is not limited to close family, Scottish Families also offers support to anyone directly affected by the harm caused by an individual’s alcohol or drug use.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the charity has continued to provide a range of services, including an advice helpline, one to one bereavement support, and local family services. From April 2020 to March 2021 Scottish Families supported almost 2,000 family members across its services, from all 32 council areas in Scotland. This included over 2,350 helpline contacts, a 66% increase on the previous year.

The award judges praised Scottish Families for its range of flexible support service for families, as well as its ability to influence and shape alcohol and drug policy. This includes the innovative ‘click and deliver’ service, which provides potentially life-saving Naloxone free of charge to any adult in Scotland who may come across an opioid-related overdose. Naloxone reverses opioid overdose, providing vital time to call an ambulance. Training, information and helpline support is provided with the kits.

The judging panel were also impressed by Scottish Families’ work to reach those most in need. Its Holding On service offers support where there are concerns about the risk of drug-related death and the charity is a member of the LGBTQI Substance Use Partnership. Scottish Families also launched a Family Support Is For Men Too initiative and runs the Routes programme for young people aged 12-26 years old affected by someone else’s alcohol and drug use.

Katie Pinnock, Director of UK Charitable Partnerships at GSK, said: “The devastating impact of alcohol or drug use on someone’s family and loved ones is often overlooked. Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs works to improve the visibility of families and give a voice to their experiences. It is a small charity which works effectively to build strong partnerships at local and national levels to influence strategic system change. We were particularly impressed by Scottish Families’ engagement at government level, whilst its ‘click and deliver’ service to make the life-saving drug naloxone more easily available during the pandemic stood out as a major innovation.”

The 2022 GSK IMPACT Award recognises Scottish Families’ significant impact on improving the wellbeing and mental health of families across Scotland affected by alcohol and drug use. Developing leaders in the charity sector is a key aim of the GSK IMPACT Awards programme and all winners are invited to build on their success and take part in a tailored leadership development programme run by The King’s Fund. Scottish Families will also be invited to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Network, a UK-wide network of over 110 previous award winners who work together to develop leaders, find new ways of working and provide mutual support.

Commenting on the award, Justina Murray, CEO of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, said: “We are overwhelmed and so delighted to have won this UK award for outstanding work in the field of health and wellbeing. Innovation, flexibility and assertive outreach are everyday ways of working in the third sector, so being recognised for this means a huge amount to us and to the families we support. We know that most families harmed by substance use remain hidden from sight and are unsupported. We have so much more to do to reach every family, and to make sure they are supported, recognised and included. The funding and development programme which are part of this award will help us to do this. Families affected by alcohol and drugs are always at the margins, they are overlooked and ignored, so achieving this recognition at UK level shows that families really do matter, and that change will come.”

For more information on Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, visit:

Notes to editors

Photos, interviews and case studies are available upon request. For further information please contact Gemma Umali, Press and Public Affairs Manager at The King’s Fund on 07584 146035 or


  • 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the GSK IMPACT Awards, GSK’s flagship UK community investment programme. The GSK IMPACT Awards, run in partnership with The King’s Fund, are designed to recognise the outstanding work of community-based health care charities. For more information visit
  • The awards are open to small and medium sized charities working in health and wellbeing with an annual income between £120,00 and £3 million that are at least three years old. The name ‘IMPACT’ derives from the criteria that winners must have demonstrated in their application submission: Innovation, Management, Partnership, Achievement, Community focus and Targeting need. For more information on the application process, visit The 2023 GSK IMPACT Awards will open for applications in July 2022.
  • This year £450,000 in unrestricted prize money will be awarded to UK charities through the GSK IMPACT Awards. To mark the 25th anniversary of the GSK IMPACT Awards, the prize has been increased so that the 10 winners each receive £40,000 in unrestricted funding, a film and other promotional materials to promote the charities, as well as access to training and development activities estimated to be worth £9,500. At the award ceremony in London in June, an overall winner will be announced, and they will receive an extra £10,000, making a total of £50,000. 10 runners up will also each receive £4,000.
  • The 2022 winners went through a rigorous assessment, including a half day in-depth discussion with an independent assessor, and were selected by a judging panel of health and charity experts including Sir Jonathan Symonds, Chairman, GSK; Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund; Emma Ackerman, Funding Strategy Director at The National Lottery Community Fund; Aleema Shivji, Executive Director of Impact and Investment at Comic Relief; John James, Chief Executive of the Sickle Cell Society and Dr Dominique Allwood, Director of Improvement and Partnerships at UCLPartners.
  • Since its inception in 1997, nearly 520 health and wellbeing charities have received a GSK IMPACT Award and funding totalling nearly £7.7 million.

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company. For further information please visit

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. It helps to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; developing individuals, teams and organisations; promoting understanding of the health and social care system; and bringing people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Its vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.  For further information visit

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