What is Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI)?

PDI gives money to charities that support children and young people in Scotland. Since 2001 that has totalled around £27.6 million an has supported over 300 projects.

Funded charities work to increase opportunities, wellbeing and resilience of children and young people affected by alcohol and or drugs. In 2017/18 this included over 1,500 children and young people who were directly supported by PDI-funded projects.

Children and young people, along with other experts, are involved in making decisions about PDI grants.

Relationships are important to PDI, as it is only possible to make a difference by working closely with projects, people who use services, local partners and policy makers.

PDI is currently funded through a partnership between Corra Foundation and Scottish Government.

PDI Approach

PDI is a relationship programme. The aim is to work alongside policy makers, local partners and projects to ensure collectively we can make a positive difference to children and young people affected by alcohol and or other drugs.

PDI works closely with all potential and supported groups to help us improve our approach and understanding of what it takes to make a difference to children and young people.   Support for groups is offered by sharing our learning and knowledge from other groups and partners.   Through the PDI programme projects can expect:

During the application stage PDI staff will:

  • Visit your project to discuss the programme in more detail and to hear more about the work that you do.
  • Provide support with developing your application.
  • Look at drafts application forms, provide comments and feedback.
  • Provide full feedback on all applications to help future developments

For more information on the PDI application material read our PDI Guidance Notes 2021/2022

If your project is supported PDI staff will:

  • Provide a 5 day training programme (4 groups and 1:1 session) to help you develop your own evaluation plans that will support you to evidence the impact of your work and explore the sustainability of your project.
  • Provide feedback on your reports to help better understand what helps make a difference for children and young people
  • Regular visits to better understand the development of your service
  • Links and networking opportunities with other groups and projects to share learning and knowledge
  • Support at any time around planning, funding or anything linked to your project that you feel will help

PDI aims to work alongside local partners, primarily Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) to ensure support can contribute to local strategic plans. PDI are happy to work with ADPs and partners to

  • Share PDI learning that can contribute to local support for children and young people.
  • Work with ADPs and other partners to develop a proposal.

To help PDI identify and address geographical gaps we are proactively engaging with ADPs across Scotland where there is currently no PDI presence to start conversations and look at potential merits of working together. This has included developing new supported projects, facilitating sessions to share PDI learning with local practitioners, providing insight into work that is being delivered in other areas across Scotland.

PDI staff work closely with colleagues in Scottish Government to ensure the learning from PDI supported projects and engagement with local partners informs national practice and policy.

PDI Supported Groups

PDI funded groups will be supported to build links and opportunities to share the learning you gather from your work.

  • Reporting – You will be asked to provide us with an annual report. PDI will provide three days evaluation support. Please see the Evaluation Support Framework.
  • Learning from each other and making connections with other groups across Scotland. There is a detailed list of all groups including contact information to help make the links in the Funded Project List.

If you would like to update your information or the contact details have changed for the lead in the project then please complete and return the Authorisation Form.

PDI  promotes awareness and opportunities that can help support children and young people affected by alcohol and or other drugs. This includes networking opportunities, briefing materials and reports.

Groups funded:

Click here to take a look at the groups supported through PDI, FRIF and the Challenge Fund in 2019.

Click here to view the groups funded through PDI from March 2020.

Click here to view the groups funded from December 2020.

Click here to view groups funded from June 2021.

How To Apply for Funding

PDI is focused on supporting projects delivering in communities across Scotland that aim to increase the well-being of children and young people affected by drugs and alcohol with the three target areas of support, children and young people that are:

  •        At risk of physical and/or emotional neglect due to their parent/carers alcohol and/or other drug use,
  •       Struggling to understand or manage change and feelings due to their parents/carers recovery from alcohol and/or drugs.
  •        Likely to experiment or use alcohol and other drugs as a coping mechanism by showing signs of: multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), their own risky or damaging use of alcohol and or/other drugs.

PDI provides funding support and will contribute up to a maximum of 50% towards the overall costs of delivering a project/service that will help improve outcomes for children and young people. You can apply for up to three years.

If you are thinking about applying to the PDI we would encourage you:

  • Contact us – we are happy to chat through your ideas and give you guidance and support on the next steps
  • Discuss your idea with your local Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) – all applications to the PDI must be supported by the ADP therefore it is important to ensure your ideas contribute and connect to the local plans.

The PDI has a two stage-application process:

Stage 1 – Initial Stage (this is a short application which will be reviewed by a Young People’s Panel and expert Steering Group)

If successful at stage 1 you will be invited to develop a full application. Feedback from both groups is given to everyone at this stage.

Stage 2 – Full application (this is a longer application which gives you an opportunity to provide more information on plans, local needs and the intended outcomes for children and young people)

Throughout both stages PDI staff are available to provide guidance and support and will work with you throughout both stages.

The PDI closing dates for 2021/2022 are:


Round Initial Stage Full Stage Outcome
1 17th June 2021 30th September 2021 December 2021
2 4th November 2021 17th March 2022 June 2022


For further information on the PDI please download a copy of our PDI Guidance Notes 2021/2022

Upon reading the guidance notes if you feel you works is aligned to the PDI approach then contact us on 0131 444 4020.

PDI learning

PDI Learning

Everyone Has a Story, a PDI research project aimed to find out about children and young people’s experiences of parental recovery from addiction. The findings showed how crucial it is to take a rights-based approach, which means listening to children and young people and responding to their stories.

What we learned:

  • Actively listening to children and young people is crucial to understand their needs and experiences.
  • Joined-up approaches are needed between adult and children and family services.
  • Children and young people may not identify with the concept of ‘recovery’ but often talk about their experiences of change in their family because of parental drug or alcohol addiction.
  • Positive relationships and role models are essential for children and young people.

The work was facilitated in part by Evaluation Support Scotland and Ice Cream Architecture.


Connections are Key

In 2019 Corra Foundation’s Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI) gathered information on third sector support services, to identify elements of practice that support, strengthen and maintain positive relationships for children, young people and families affected by drugs and alcohol.

The purpose of this research was to influence knowledge, policy and practice of relationship-based support so that children and families can develop and sustain loving and nurturing relationships.

Building on learning from Everyone Has a Story, this latest research project explores the role of relationship-based practice in supporting children, young people and families affected by alcohol and drugs. You can read the Connections Are Key research reports as well as supporting documents here. 

Learning Exchange

PDI funds a wide range of projects throughout Scotland who all make a difference to children and young people affected by drugs and alcohol.

Since 2001 when the first grant was made we have started to are a pattern of areas of support, this list is not exhaustive but gives some insight into the approaches delivered by funded groups

  • Intensive support for children affected by parental substance use (including young carers)
  • Intensive whole family focused approaches to supporting children and young people.
  • Intensive support for young people with their own issues
  • Preventative approaches for children and young people who at risk of developing drug and/or alcohol issues
  • Peer mentoring and support
  • Befriending/Mentoring

Understanding of the importance of relationships and flexibility of support is a key component in nearly all PDI supported projects.

Details on all projects supported through PDI can be found in the Funded Project List.

PDI continues to use knowledge from funded work to help inform practice guides, shape future which has helped inform Government and our own national resource and support guides including;

Everyone Has a Story is about understanding the recovery needs for children and young people whose parents are in recovery. This work took an innovative approach to understanding and researching an identified gap in knowledge. It took a collaborative approach that focused on keeping children and young people’s voices central.

As a result of the work we have produced a number of resources which are available on the Everyone has a Story Project page.

PDI is working hard with key partners to take forward the recommendations so far we have…

  • Shared findings on existing websites to help influence the Scottish Government in planning future preventative approaches

Incorporated findings into the National Recovery Outcomes Framework recognises the voice of children and young people.


About PDI Work

“I truly believe that his involvement throughout the research has helped facilitate the beginning of X trying to understand the enormity of his personal life and how best to cope and deal with his emotions.”

Clued Up Worker (in relation to young person’s involvement in PDI’s Everyone Has a Story action learning)

“I think it’s very important what you have done – you are doing a fantastic job in shining a light on the issue! Thank you!”

Laura Williamson, Penn State University (in relation to Everyone Has a Story action learning)

“Working with partners/groups to look at outcomes, indicators. Helped me focus and think about what we can do.”

Feedback from participant Day 1 PDI learning set support on outcomes June 2015

“PDI provided an excellent partnership with our organisation, and we particularly valued the ‘face-to-face’ and interactive nature of the support provided.”

Feedback from Supported Project July 2016

About Young People

“Mentoring has changed my attitude towards school life. I didn’t really care about anything before but I now care about things like my future and I know about things like revision and its importance. Before I wouldn’t have bothered getting notes from classes for revision but now I do.”

Feedback from young person supported by Barnardo’s Hopscotch Perth (PDI Supported Project)

“Just to say a huge thank you from us to you for your input at the meeting. It is really much appreciated and good to know we have someone on our side as it feels like a long and very lonely journey. We felt so much better knowing that you are looking out for “B” and understand him. We really, really appreciate it and just wanted you to know this.”

Feedback from parents of young person supported by Stable Life (PDI Supported Project)