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Cuts to lifeline service will hurt Fife families

4712089 SSFF adhd children  L - R: Charli, Berny, Angel - Berny Cowan with kids Charli & Angel who suffer from ADHD - not in photo Bob who also suffers but was too ill to be photographed at this time - at home in Fitzroy Square, Dysart, Kirkcaldy

4712089 SSFF adhd children L - R: Charli, Berny, Angel - Berny Cowan with kids Charli & Angel who suffer from ADHD - not in photo Bob who also suffers but was too ill to be photographed at this time - at home in Fitzroy Square, Dysart, Kirkcaldy

FAMILIES coping with ADHD may have to wait longer to benefit from a ‘‘lifeline’’ service because of funding cuts.

The charity Kindred - which helps families across Fife - has had to cut staff hours after a drop in its core funding.

Now, one Dysart mum, who has used the service, says people will suffer.

Bernadette Cowan (42), of Fitzroy Street, and her three children have been diagnosed with ADHD - attention deficit hyper-activity disorder.

And she has been told that the advocacy help she has had for the past few years through Kindred for her children, Robert (14) and twins Angel and Charli (7), is to be cut because of lack of funding.

Bernadette, who is on long-term medication and finds it difficult to process information, feared that she wouldn’t be able to cope without the guiding hand of Linda, the advocacy worker who has helped her get benefits, put in place a supported education programme for her eldest son, and organised respite care.

But, after hearing she will still be given help from the charity, the relieved mum said families who were still waiting to receive support would suffer.

“This service has been my lifeline for the past four years,” said Bernadette, whose husband suffers from mental health problems.

“Linda, my children’s advocacy worker, comes along to all the meetings I have with the schools about the children and helps me to understand everything to ensure they get the support they are entitled to.

‘‘She helps me fill in forms and explains complicated medical stuff. I would not manage if she wasn’t there to help.”

Diagnosed

Robert was not diagnosed until five years ago when he was nine, and is on long-term medication.

“I am still fighting to have a support plan put in place for him and Linda is helping me with that,” explained Bernadette.

“At first I was just told he was badly behaved or that it was my bad parenting skills and it took years for a proper diagnosis for him. The twins have been slightly easier, but, with me having ADHD too, I know what they are going through and how hard it is for them.

“This is a vital service for families like mine in Fife and I hope more funding is found to help it continue.”

Sophie Pilgrim, director of Kindred, said the problems had come about because of a drop in the charity’s core funding.

“We have had to cut our staff hours because of this cut and with a growing waiting list for people requesting help, it will be the families who are waiting who will suffer and have to wait longer.”

 

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