Industry fighting back against alcohol abuse

The Scotch whisky industry is to spend £1million on tackling alcohol misuse over the next decade.

Through the Scotch Whisky Action Fund, the industry is committed to providing consumers with the information they need to make informed and responsible choices about the consumption of alcohol; and to working to reduce the harms caused through excessive drinking.

As part of this, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has announced that the Scotch Whisky Action Fund will to double its support to projects that work to combat alcohol misuse to £1 million.

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund (SWAF), which was set up in December 2013 to provide £100,000 annually to projects working to reduce alcohol-related harm in Scotland, will be extended to at least 2023. This amounts to £1 million of funding over 10 years.

In its first five years, the SWAF has made 50 awards to partner organisations, which have run projects right across Scotland which have reached thousands of individuals. The Fund, which is just one element of the Scotch Whisky industry’s commitment to addressing alcohol misuse and promoting responsible drinking, is managed by Foundation Scotland, an independent charity.

The fund is now open for applications for its 2019 funding round. The deadline for applications is 18 July 2019.
Chief executive of the SWA Karen Betts said: ‘The Scotch Whisky industry is deeply committed to helping to ensure that those who consume alcohol do so moderately, and have the information they need to make responsible choices. We also take the role that we play in working with partners to tackle alcohol-related harm very seriously.

‘The renewed funding now available through the Scotch Whisky Action Fund is part of that commitment.

‘In the five years since its inception, the Scotch Whisky Action Fund has supported a range of projects across Scotland. These projects have been delivered through partner organisations, and have had a tremendously positive impact.

‘The projects have worked with education programmes, youth sports clubs, vulnerable young people, carers, older people and community counsellors, and their impact is a credit to the hard work and commitment of the organisations involved.

‘In its 2019 funding round, the SWAF is keen to support innovative projects which will test new approaches to tackling alcohol misuse and its impact, and we hope that the projects that the SWAF will support will offer opportunities for others to learn and build on.’

Dame Joan Stringer, chair of the SWAF Independent Awards Panel, said: ‘Over the years I have been impressed with the quality of projects applying for awards from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund. It is wonderful to look back on the 50 projects that have benefitted, and the thousands of lives that have been improved through the SWAF.

‘But the Fund does not focus on the past, we want to look forward and I am delighted to continue to chair the awards panel as the SWAF moves into its next phase.’

Sam Petrie of Bright Light, which received funding in 2017, said: ‘Our project, which focussed on families where one member is in recovery from alcohol addiction, would not have happened without the support of the SWAF.

‘The SWA have been really interested in the project, coming to visit us and taking time to understand how the initiative is progressing. It has been a really positive experience for us and those we help, and I’d encourage other organisations to work with the SWAF.’

Awards of up to £25,000 per project for a one year period can be made through this Fund.

Projects which secure funding under this Fund and can demonstrate an impact can receive further funding of up to £25,000 per annum to support their initiative. The Fund will support projects for a maximum of three years.
Foundation Scotland manage the day-to-day running of the Fund.

Applications to the fund can be made HERE.