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SWA offers £500,000 to combat alcohol problems

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has pledged £500,000 to tackle alcohol-related harm in Scotland over the next four years.

SWA Action Fund
Gavin Hewitt, CEO of the SWA, said that the association’s Action Fund will tackle social and personal harms created by alcohol misuse in Scotland

As part of its ongoing initiative to promote responsible drinking, the SWA has created an Action Fund which will aim to tackle alcohol misuse in Scotland by donating £100,000 each year from 2014 to 2018.

Managed by Foundation Scotland, an independent charity, the fund will invest in charity projects across the country.

Gavin Hewitt, SWA’s CEO who will be stepping down from the role next month, said: “Alcohol is part of Scottish life and brings a range of benefits to Scotland and its economy.

“But we recognise there is a problem with alcohol misuse that has to be tackled and we are committed to taking a central role to address misuse in this drive through our Scotch Whisky Action Fund.”

The SWA said its Action Fund would support and develop projects which aim to tackle harm among young people aged 18 and under, families affected by misuse, and communities which suffer from excessive alcohol consumption.

Organisations wishing to apply for funding should do so by 31 March 2014.

New organisations can apply for up to £10,000 of funding, while existing initiatives with a proven track record can seek up to £25,000.

The SWA has been a vocal opponent of the minimum unit pricing bill which was passed into law last year, claiming that initiatives such as the Action Fund would be more effective in tackling Scotland’s alcohol issues.

The news of this new initiative comes as the latest Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) report indicates that there has been progress in reducing alcohol-related harm in Scotland.

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