Deserved recognition for its work helping families cope with drugs misuse
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.
Its 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.
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 its 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.
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 the charity’s 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.
Justina Murray, chief executive 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.”
Katie Pinnock, director of UK charitable partnerships at GSK, said: “We were particularly impressed by Scottish Families’ engagement at government level, while its click-and-deliver service to make the life-saving drug naloxone more easily available during the pandemic stood out as a major innovation.”