Two Fife organisations receive lottery cash injections

The team from FEATs Employ Your Mind project which has received funding from the lottery.
The team from FEATs Employ Your Mind project which has received funding from the lottery.

Two Fife organisations are celebrating after receiving cash injections from the Big Lottery.

Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT), a locally-based mental health charity which supports people with mental health conditions to access work, has been given funding for one of their flagship projects for another three years.

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland  chairman Christine McLintock

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland chairman Christine McLintock

And Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland, the national bereavement charity, has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund Improving Lives medium grant programme, with the three year funding supporting 250 people across Fife with groups due to be established within the areas of Methil /Leven; Kirkcaldy; Dunfermline and St. Andrews/Cupar.

The groups will be supported by eight bereavement volunteers who will act as peer mentors and a co-ordinator who will be responsible for setting up and facilitation of the groups and delivery of the project.

Employ your Mind is a partnership project with FEAT and NHS Fife that supports people with complex, severe and enduring mental health conditions to better self-manage their conditions and begin to consider employment as a viable option.

The project uses innovative computerised therapies that help participants to develop strategies to overcome barriers and challenges they face in daily life, and the staff team further support people to recognise their skills and abilities, improve their confidence and wellbeing and consider employment.

Duncan Mitchell, FEAT general manager, said: “When we first spoke to the Big Lottery team about continuation funding, they explained that after having five years of support already, the odds were stacked against us. They also said they are heavily oversubscribed for funding and therefore have to turn down many good projects, so to be honest our hopes were low. However, it is a testament to the success of this project that they have backed us again for another three years – though the funding amount is lower than in past years, so we still need help from other sources to cover all the costs.”

He added: “Hopefully the news of Big Lottery’s ongoing support, will make it easier to persuade other funders to contribute towards the balance.”

FEAT are also celebrating the announcement of being named runners-up in the GlaxoSmithKline Impact Awards for 2017. The GSK IMPACT Awards have been running since 1997 and are designed to recognise and reward charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health. They are funded by GlaxoSmithKline and managed in partnership with The King’s Fund.

Lisa Weaks, Head of Third Sector at the King’s Fund, said: “To have been shortlisted is our recognition of your important work in your field, and to be named a runner-up is an enormous achievement.”

Duncan added: “This is a great honour indeed to reach this stage and an acknowledgement for the all hard work and effort put in by our staff team on a daily basis. Apparently, we’re the first ever Fife-based charity to reach the shortlist, and only one other Scottish charity reached this stage this year.”

Meanwhile, Christine McLintock, Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland chairman, said: “We are delighted to have secured a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to enable us to further develop the bereavement care services provided by Cruse to the people of Fife. Cruse is the only ‘open to all’ bereavement charity in Scotland, providing support to the bereaved across Scotland regardless of when the death occurred or the cause of the death.

“It relies upon private donations and statutory and private grants, so to secure this grant – at a time when calls to our Helpline have increased by over 14 per cent in the past 10 months – is fabulous.

“Our aim is to build resilience in the community through the Community Friendship Project and to take the learning from this project to develop our services throughout Scotland. We are very grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for supporting this important initiative at a time when the need for bereavement support is increasing.”