FAMILIES impacted by alcohol or drug use took the chance to connect with others in Alloa in a relaxed atmosphere last week.

Charity Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs (SFAD) hosted its family friendly event at Hawkhill Community Centre last Friday, November 30, providing an opportunity for people to come together.

The aim was to help locals dealing with issues feel less isolated while the charity partnership had the chance to reach out and offer its various services.

Events are always organised in a relaxed manner with hopes they are enjoyable to families – face painting and crafts were on offer on the day along with food, hot drinks and more.

Susie McClue, development officer at SFAD, hosted the event and told the Advertiser: “We are really keen to increase awareness of the fact that you are not alone.”

She added: “We run these events on the basis that in Scotland most people, one in two that you come across, will be affected by someone else’s substance use, whether it’s something that happened in their childhood; whether it’s someone they work with or a friend.

“We think about the idea of being affected by someone else in its widest term.”

Often, people are just hoping to help someone else, but may not immediately realise the affect it is having on them.

Susie continued: “You will potentially feel isolated – you also won’t often look for help for yourself; you’ll look for help for the person who is struggling.

"But often you are struggling and you are demoralised and it’s really important that you know that the support for you in your own right is important.

“And you help the person that you love, that you are worried about, by looking after yourself as much as you do by trying to talk to them about getting into services or accessing help of some kind.”

There is no criteria preventing people from accessing help through the charity, anyone who identifies as someone affected.

Ultimately, the event hoped to allow transformative social contact with new connections formed with others in similar situations.

Thanks go to the Big Lottery’s Awards for All for funding the event, Signpost for catering and Hawkhill Community Centre for providing the venue.

Anyone looking for help or advice can visit sfad.org.uk, email helpline@sfad.org.uk or call the free helpline on 08080 10 10 11.