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Annual Report 2013/14

reducing harm caused by alcohol


Alcohol Focus Scotland’s purpose is reducing the harm caused by alcohol. Our long term aim is a reduction in alcohol harm to individuals, families, communities and Scotland as a whole, through the implementation of effective alcohol control policies and legislation. Alcohol is more affordable, more available and more heavily marketed than at any time over the past thirty years. At the same time, our alcohol consumption has doubled and we have seen record levels of alcohol harm. Alcohol Focus Scotland works with a wide range of partners to advocate for evidence-based policy; deliver training and development programmes and provide accurate and accessible information about alcohol to the media, policy-makers, practitioners and the general public.

our young people are growing up in a world where cheap alcohol is available anytime, anywhere.

accident and emergency units treat an average of 4 alcohol-related cases every hour.


Chief Executive’s Message The last year has been another momentous year for Alcohol Focus Scotland with much progress in the two ‘best buy’ areas of price and availability. We continued to take a leading role in sharing the evidence and building support for the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill and published a report jointly with our advocacy coalition colleagues SHAAP, Balance and Our Life. Recognising the key role that licensing plays in regulating the availability of alcohol, Alcohol Focus Scotland has been working closely with colleagues in public health to raise awareness of the links between the availability of alcohol and the level of alcoholrelated problems. We were delighted to welcome Professor Thomas Babor, co-author of Alcohol:No Ordinary Commodity, to speak at a seminar held in November to coincide with our Annual General Meeting. Another renowned alcohol expert, Professor Robin Room, co-author of a landmark Australian report on alcohol’s harm to others, delivered a keynote address at our conference in June. The last year also saw significant organisational change as we moved towards a programmes approach which is closely aligned to our strategic priorities.

The staff team has responded admirably to the changes that have taken place and both myself and the Board are very grateful to the senior management team and the staff for their ongoing commitment to the organisation. Towards the end of the year, we were very sad to see Professor Peter Brunt retire as our Chair after many years of dedicated service to the organisation. However, we were delighted to have Dr Mac Armstrong, with his wealth of knowledge and expertise, come on board as the new Chair. Our Board continues to be vibrant and fully engaged in the work of the organisation. The combination of a highly committed Board and a skilled and dedicated staff team will ensure that Alcohol Focus Scotland is well placed to face the challenges that lie ahead. Similarly, our ongoing participation in UK and international alliances will ensure that we have access to the best available evidence and practice to help us to contribute to the reduction of alcohol harm in Scotland, the UK and further afield. Dr Evelyn Gillan, Chief Executive

alcohol is the third leading risk factor for disease globally


Highlights of the year A report - The four steps to alcohol misuse: how the industry uses price, place, promotion and product design to persuade us that too much alcohol is not enough was published on the same day the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill was announced. Six events across Scotland were organised involving over 250 hundred public health and licensing stakeholders to share the findings of the Rethinking Alcohol Licensing report. A conference to raise awareness of alcohol’s harm to others, with a particular focus on children and young people was organised with a keynote address from Professor Robin Room, co-author of a landmark Australian report on harm to others. Work began in two communities, Neilston in East Renfrewshire, and Lochgilphead/Ardrishaig in Argyll & Bute, to identify and address alcohol-related harm.

our young people are growing up in a world where cheap alcohol is available anytime, anywhere.

Alcohol Focus Scotland took a lead role in sharing the evidence and building support for the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill. Glasgow City Alcohol & Drug Partnership commissioned AFS to deliver Oh Lila training to all Glasgow nurseries. The resource aims to build resilience and protective factors in children aged 3-5 years. ServeWise training was delivered to over 1000 personal licence holders, and general alcohol awareness and counselling training to nearly 900 people. AFS continued to participate in UK and international alliances, including the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, the European Public Health Alliance and the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance.

accident and emergency units treat an average of 4 alcohol-related cases every hour.

25 people die in scotland every week as a direct result of their drinking.


11940 alcohol focus scotland annual report