Fife Women’s Aid summer programme offers respite from tough times

Staff at the Fife Women's Aid annual Children and Young People's Art Exhibition. From left: Natalie Thomson, Val Symon, Gil Birtley, Keri Duffy and Ingrid Gordon. Pic: George McLuskie Photography.
Staff at the Fife Women's Aid annual Children and Young People's Art Exhibition. From left: Natalie Thomson, Val Symon, Gil Birtley, Keri Duffy and Ingrid Gordon. Pic: George McLuskie Photography.

Putting some fun into the lives of children and young people in Fife who have been affected by domestic abuse is the aim of a special summer group work programme.

This is the fourth year the scheme, organised by Fife Women’s Aid, has been held and it has been so successful it’s planned to continue the initiative.

The artwork on display at the  annual Children and Young People's Art Exhibition at Fife Women's Aid. Pic: George McLuskie Photography.

The artwork on display at the annual Children and Young People's Art Exhibition at Fife Women's Aid. Pic: George McLuskie Photography.

Its aim is to give children and young people, who come from families that have experienced domestic abuse, a break away from the hard work of recovery by taking them on outings to various locations during the summer holidays.

While participating in the activities, supported by staff from Fife Women’s Aid, the children and young people collect an array of materials from nature, such as sticks, leaves and stones, and use them to create their own individual pieces of artwork which are then showcased in a special exhibition. They also took part in the popular treasure hunt Fife Rocks.

Keri Duffy, children and young person’s team leader at Fife Women’s Aid, said: “A few of us in the team came up with the original idea a few years ago and it has been a success yet again.

“The aim of the initiative is to build resilience, help the kids and offer them peer support. It’s about building their self confidence and self esteem and it also gives the mums some respite.

One of the pieces of art work on display at Fife Women's Aid. Pic: George McLuskie Photography.

One of the pieces of art work on display at Fife Women's Aid. Pic: George McLuskie Photography.

“We held three trips a week over the six week summer holidays – one in the west, one covering central and east Fife and a separate one for teenagers.”

Natalie Thomson, children and younger people’s support worker, said: “It’s great to get the kids out and to see just how well they bonded. Some of them hadn’t been to the areas we went to.

“The places we visited included Maspie Den, Ravenscraig Park, Beveridge Park, Lochore Meadows, Pittencrieff Park, Townhill Woods. The teenagers also took part in an escape room in Dunfermline.”

Keri and Natalie said the finished pieces were all put together in a private exhibition at Fife Women’s Aid headquarters in Glenrothes with the families of those who had taken part invited to come along.

The summer group work programme was funded this year by The Lumsden Club in St Andrews. The students from St Andrews University raised the funding which paid for a women’s aid family day out to Almond Valley. Anyone who is needing help should contact Fife Women’s Aid on Freephone 0808 802 5555.