Friday 27th October, saw the launch of ‘Routes‘ a youth work programme in Orkney, supporting young people aged 12-26 years affected by alcohol or drug use within their family.

The programme offers one-to-one and group support, along with activities bringing young people together, with the purpose of building confidence, developing positive relationships, and helping them achieve their goals. There is no time limit to their involvement, allowing trust to develop with workers and other young people, with all support tailored to each young person.

‘Routes’ is the latest offering to our support in Orkney. For 10 years, we have  been working with the local community, offering a range of emotional and practical help for people of all ages from counselling to supported accommodation and wellbeing support.

Spaces are now open for young people in the community to join the new programme. We would encourage those who work with young people and young people themselves to get in touch if they’d like to be involved.

‘Grow Your Own Routes’ is a Scottish-wide initiative created and funded by Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs and involves six charities who run local programmes across the country. To celebrate the launch, Scottish Families brought together the charities and young people involved at an event in Kirkintilloch, which was attended by the Minister for Drug and Alcohol, Elena Whitham.

Janet Haugh, Chief Executive of Right There commented: “At Right There, we believe every young person deserves an equal chance and the opportunity to realise their potential.

We know that growing up around alcohol and drug use in the family home can impact a young person’s life in lots of different ways such as attendance at school, ability to develop healthy relationships and their general wellbeing and happiness.

We know the power of creating trusting relationships and positive role models with young people. We are delighted to be working with Scottish Families Affected by Drugs and Alcohol to expand our current support in Orkney and help even more young people see their strengths and value they have within themselves.”

Drugs and Alcohol Policy Minister Elena Whitham said:

“I’m really pleased to see that this fantastic service which supports young people affected by substance use in their families will be available in Orkney. The impact of substance use goes beyond the person using substances themselves, and I’m absolutely committed to ensuring that everyone affected gets the support they need to thrive.

“We’ve seen the impact that Routes has had in other parts of Scotland and now young people in Orkney will also benefit from this holistic support. I’m proud that Scottish Government are supporting the expansion of Routes to six new areas in Scotland thanks to an investment of nearly £4 million.”

Justina Murray, CEO of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs said:

“We are delighted to see our Routes model expand across Scotland through this new partnership with six fantastic partner organisations, including Right There, and supported by the Scottish Government’s Whole Family Wellbeing Fund. A key part of Routes’ success has been the involvement of young people from the start – they have shaped every aspect of our initial Routes programme in East and West Dunbartonshire, and remain at the heart of this new national roll-out. Our Routes young people are the most enthusiastic, creative and ambitious ambassadors for the programme’s life-changing impact. Grow Your Own Routes will allow us to learn how this youthwork model can support young people affected by family alcohol and drug use across urban, rural and island communities from Orkney to East Lothian, and from small to large organisations. It will also help us learn more about how to expand good practice across the country, so we can move beyond pilots and demonstration projects to reach young people everywhere.”

For anyone interested in ‘Routes’ get in touch by emailing

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