Funding after hub success

Health hub at Methilhill
Health hub at Methilhill

Weekly health events have proved so successful in Levenmouth that funds to expand the service have been approved by local councillors.

The ‘Health Hubs’, which operate five days a week across the area, started in 2003 and offer sexual health advice to 12 – 25 year olds.

Elected members approved funding worth £6300 for the service, which organisers hope to expand to reach more people and deal with issues such as teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Operating on a drop-in basis, with sessions ranging from 1-2 hours, the Hub works within a holistic model of health and well-being and offers free confidential advice on young peoples issues, as well as providing condoms and pregnancy tests and signposting young people to other helpful agencies.

In a presentation to councillors at the recent Levenmouth area committee meeting, Stewart Christie, locality support team leader for Levenmouth and Jackie Barbour, team leader in Health Improvement at NHS Fife, explained that in the nine years since the Hub was established, the drop in events had grown massively in popularity.

Mr Christie said: “One of the busiest hubs is in Methilhill Senior Citizens Hall. Pupils from Buckhaven High School use the service and from April 2012 until March 2013 - 807 young people attended. This is primarily due to pupils accessing the service on Friday lunch times.”

Overall, in a twelve month period up to March 2013, the Hub was used by 1364 young people across Levenmouth, broken down into 903 boys and 417 girls.

Although condom distribution was the most requested service, subjects such as advice on mental health, family issues, relationships and general sexual health were regularly discussed.

Ms Barbour explained that the extra funds would be used to reach more people and offer a better service.

“We are looking at providing hubs in other areas and also looking at the steps to hire a nurse to find those gaps. We’d also like to provide a hub in Methilhill in the evenings perhaps, because the one during the day is so popular.

“The service has developed hugely over the past 11 years in partnership with the young people and our youth workers. We’re very proud of the work we’ve been able to do.”