Aberdeen schemes that tackle the effects of alcohol and drug abuse could be in line for a major cash boost.
A £150,000 fund has been launched for projects across the city – with a public vote helping to decide the final sums awarded.
Grants of up to £10,000 each are being offered by the Aberdeen City Alcohol & Drugs Partnership (ADP) for projects focused on preventing harm and intervening at an early stage.
The organisation is making the cash available after noticing the Covid pandemic “amplifying” people’s issues with alcohol and drugs, leaving them feeling isolated from others.
Health bosses have suggested the likes of gardening clubs, buddy schemes, social media campaigns and education programmes could all receive the cash.
Training for staff or volunteers, arts sessions, cooking classes and helping young people into employment may also be eligible.
ADP lead Simon Rayner said: “We’re looking for initiatives that will help people connect to their communities, build resilience and ease the effects of isolation.
“Stigma was identified as a major issue affecting people and families who have experienced alcohol and drugs issues so we are looking for initiatives which will boost people’s self-esteem and self-worth.
“Another challenge is the lack of activities for young people across the city, which can lead to issues with alcohol and drugs not being recognised early.
“We are also particularly keen to help distribute naloxone in the community, which is a nasal spray that can help reverse an opioid overdose and is free to anyone concerned like friends or family.
“Projects which would help with this would be very welcome.”
The city has been split into three sections – north, south and central – with £50,000 of cash to be spent in each.
Aberdeen City Alcohol & Drugs Partnership is accepting bids for grants between £200 and £10,000, which will first be shortlisted by a screening panel in each area.
The bids will then go online in a public poll before the final approval.
Mr Rayner is encouraging groups of all types to apply for the cash, including charities, clubs, GP practices and community councils.
He added: “We want to make this fund as accessible as possible so there is support available with various aspects of the process, like how to apply and help with project planning, self-evaluation, and identifying the specific needs of target groups.
“I’m also very keen that we forge links with other health and wellbeing issues.
“Events like Suicide Awareness Week, Stress Awareness Week, Men’s Health Week, Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month can all have connections to alcohol and drugs awareness.
“If our new grants fund can help people to make the connections, I would be delighted.”
Applications close at 4pm on April 22, and more information can be found at