Reducing harm caused by alcohol


Alison Douglas

Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland

Alison joined AFS in December 2015.  Her commitment to and experience of preventing and reducing alcohol harm stems from her time as Head of Alcohol Policy and Delivery at Scottish Government from 2007 to 2012. In this capacity Alison was responsible for developing and implementing Scotland’s national alcohol strategy, "Changing Scotland's Relationship with Alcohol".

Alison previously worked as a policy adviser to Scottish Ministers, advising on issues ranging from prostitution, to GM crops, and the marine environment. From April 2012 until she joined AFS she was Head of Public Bodies and Public Service Reform with responsibility for advising Ministers on reform and ensuring the effectiveness of public bodies.

Before joining Scottish Government, Alison worked for the UK Research Councils, including seven years in their European Office in Brussels, latterly as Director.

She has served as a member of Edinburgh’s Children’s Panel and is a former Poverty Truth Commissioner. She is also currently a Board Member of mental health charity, Penumbra

Alcohol Focus Scotland team

Aidan Collins leads, develops and monitors AFS’s programmes of work, and supports the Chief Executive in the delivery of the strategic plan. He has key responsibility for overseeing the availability work programme.

Laura Mahon oversees our policy and research function and support to local Alcohol & Drug Partnerships. She leads on our work to restrict alcohol marketing.

Jane Wilson leads our learning and business development function. She is responsible for the development of innovative resources and learning programmes to support practitioners and professionals.

The AFS team work in policy, communications, learning and development, income generation and administration.

Alcohol Focus Scotland Board

Mary Cuthbert

Mary Cuthbert OBE, Chair of Alcohol Focus Scotland

A career civil servant with the Scottish Government for nearly 40 years, Mary Cuthbert has extensive experience of public policy making and delivery gained across a range of Departments and on secondment to external agencies. Ultimately, she was head of Alcohol, Tobacco and Sexual Health Policy within the CMO and Public Health Directorate. During her 14 years in the Directorate, Mary was at the forefront of a number of key public health policy and legislative developments in HIV/AIDS; sexual health; drugs misuse; alcohol; and tobacco. This included the ban on smoking in public places and alcohol minimum pricing. A keen advocate of the voluntary sector, Mary is also currently on the Board of Directors of ASH Scotland and Young Scot. Mary was awarded an OBE in 2009.

  • John Carnochan served in Strathclyde Police for over thirty years before becoming Head of the Violence Reduction Unit, the national centre for expertise on tackling violence.
  • Professor Jeff Collin is Professor of Global Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh.
  • Hilary Davison was Director of Guidance and Standards at Healthcare Improvement Scotland and is now a Master Trainer supporting individuals to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Andrew Fraser is Head of Democratic Services at North Ayrshire Council.
  • Professor Gerard Hastings was the first UK Professor of Social Marketing and founder of the Institute for Social Marketing and Centre for Tobacco Control Research at Stirling and the Open University.
  • Wendy Ingledew is the former Alcohol & Drug Partnership Coordinator for the Western Isles.
  • Calum Irving is the Director of See Me, Scotland's programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination and enable people who experience mental health problems to lead fulfilled lives.
  • Senga MacDonald spent her career working in social work and addictions, and managed the biggest drug and alcohol agency in the north east of Scotland. She now provides consultancy in social care.
  • Dr Drew Walker is Director of Public Health for NHS Tayside and Chair of Dundee Alcohol & Drug Partnership.