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Tracey Stewart


Tracey Stewart started Rowan Alba’s Community Alcohol-Related Damage Service (CARDS) in 2010 to provide support for vulnerable people who were in danger of becoming homeless due to alcohol dependency. Based on a volunteer befriending model CARDS gives its clients vital social contact and healthy activity without judgement or condition. As with all Rowan Alba’s services, sobriety is not a pre-condition or goal unless the person chooses it to be so.

CARDS has grown to support over 100 community members through a one-to-one relationship with a volunteer, 40% of whom have lived experience of the challenges their clients face. CARDS has built a number of strategic partnerships with the aim of improving the mental and physical health of its community. Tracey’s belief in the power of the arts to enhance the lives of the CARDS community has led to a sustained collaboration with The National Galleries of Scotland. Regular “CARDS Café” Art groups at The National Portrait Gallery, Queen St. Edinburgh, has opened doors to marginalised people who often feel unable to participate in arts and culture. CARDS also acts as a community extension of the NHS by providing ongoing support for people leaving rehabilitation at NHS Milestone House following a diagnosis of Alcohol-Related Brain Damage (ARBD) or hospitalisation due to alcohol-related conditions.