One base to support families across Fife

Joy Patrick, manager, Fife Women's Aid and Joanne Stewart, business manager. Pic: FPA
Joy Patrick, manager, Fife Women's Aid and Joanne Stewart, business manager. Pic: FPA

Fife Women’s Aid has brought its offices together in Glenrothes, but the service still has almost 40 refuges across the Kingdom to help woman and children suffering at the hands of domestic abuse

The local offices of Fife’s Women’s Aid have now closed with all its services being brought together under the one roof in Glenrothes.

But, while the organisation now has just the one main base, Fife Women’s Aid is keen to stress it still offers support to women and children throughout the Kingdom who have experienced domestic abuse through its wide range of different services, including counselling, advocacy and befriending programmes.

Joy Patrick, manager, told the Press the move has followed a restructure of Fife Women’s Aid which began with the merging of offices in October 2010.

Speaking at the official launch of the new office, which is based in Saltire House, Pentland Park, Glenrothes, on Tuesday, Joy said: “We had three offices in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and Cupar but these were all closed due to funding restrictions and it was decided to bring all three together.

“The last part of the process was to have everyone working together in the one place - providing better partnership working as well as making communication easier between the services. It has also helped to save costs.

“But even though we are all now based in the one premises we still provide services Fife-wide by going out to meet the women affected by domestic abuse in their own communities. We also have nearly 40 refuges dotted across Fife.”

Joy said there have been a number of structural changes in the organisation but providing services to support women, children and young people remains at the heart of what they do.

“We have been providing services in Fife for 38 years including refuge accommodation, 1-1 support and group work, MARAC advocacy, independent advocacy, domestic abuse group support and counselling,” she said. “We also carry out training and awareness raising sessions and work with partner agencies.”

She said figures from the last 12 months, contained in Fife Women’s Aid annual report, show these services are still very much needed with 939 women being helped through Women’s Support Services; 115 women engaging with counselling services, 87 women with 90 children living in refuge accomodation over the past year.

Fife Women’s Aid - contact freephone 0808 802 5555.

Five teams to provide comprehensive support

Fife Women’s Aid offers a range of services to help women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.

There are five teams within the local organisation - the children and young persons team; Women’s support; housing management; business and independent services.

The work of the Children and Young Persons team involves exploring with youngsters how domestic abuse has impacted in their lives and supporting them with their recovery.

The team offers one to one support with children and can meet them in a safe environment – their school, for example.

Each child or young person is allocated a key worker who helps them to understand what domestic abuse is and how they have been affected through activities like art therapy.

The support team is the first point of contact for women getting in touch It offers information as well as organising refuge and other appointments.

The housing management team has 36 refuges across Fife which it furnishes and decorates for families needing a safe environment.

The independent services team offers women counselling, independent advocacy (helping to make women’s voices, for example in meetings with social work), MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference) advocacy – which identifies women at high risk and meets with professionals to plan how they can make life easier for the individual concerned – and a befriending service.

The service is also monitored and evaluated.

The business team deals with the day-to-day administrative and financial operations of the organisation.