Yvonne Lasic: champion of the invisible carers in Kirkcaldy

Yvonne Lasic (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)Yvonne Lasic (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Yvonne Lasic (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Having a natter with Yvonne Lasic, is like being enveloped in a reassuring hug.

Born and raised in Kirkcaldy, Yvonne moved to England after qualifying as a nurse in 2000. After her daughter was born in 2003, she returned home. Yvonne practised as a nurse in endoscopy, admissions at the Vic, NHS24 and community nursing in Burntisland. Nursing felt like a vocation, “I loved looking after people, being a voice for them when they’re not been able to speak for themselves,” she says.

A passion for advocacy led to Yvonne’s next role with Addiction Services, based at Whyteman’s Brae for five years with a personal connection, “My father was an alcoholic, so there were a lot of difficulties as I grew up, including domestic violence,” she pauses, “I learned chronic illness is a result of addiction or the impact of someone’s addiction”.

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Yvonne’s personal and professional perspectives merged, “The impact upon families is something people didn’t talk about. Families were crying out for help. People with addictions are human beings with concerns, deep rooted traumatic events, and severe mental health issues”.

In 2022, Yvonne attended a one-woman-play called ‘This Fierce Love’ at the Lomond Centre in Glenrothes hosted by Scottish Families Affected by Drugs and Alcohol (SFAD) a Scottish charity which supports anyone over the age of 16 who is affected by a loved one’s alcohol or drug use.

It included interactive discussions.

“I spoke for hours with family members who were supported by SFADA. I remember looking around the table at fellow professionals and realising there was little support for families in Fife,” Yvonne remembers. “I understood their compassion and struggles and thought ‘I can see myself doing this’,”.

In 2022, Yvonne joined FAD’s Fife Family Support Service as a family support development officer working alongside two colleagues taking the co-lead with complex cases, reporting and meetings, “Family members can be referred by a professional, phone the helpline, or through the website. Referrals are responded to within one to two weeks which is incredible.”

There are challenges.

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“We want to reach more people and make professionals aware of how to refer. We are handing out leaflets and attending community events”. Yvonne believes this approach is paramount - “it’s getting families to know they matter. Who are these unpaid carers who are often forgotten about?” With support offered through one-to-one, online, walks or meeting for a cuppa. Family members can also access family support groups and wellbeing sessions.

This left an impact: “Some people who have got to the age of 60, and don’t know what they like, what their hobbies are, because all they do is think about is their loved one and their life is dedicated to them. We want to help them to make changes, so they know they matter”.

Asked how Kirkcaldy can help, Yvonne asked local folk to “reduce their conception of addiction and be open minded about the struggles people face with a bit of compassion and support as well and sharing our Facebook page and weekly family support groups. On a national level, Yvonne states, “There needs to be family support services in every area of Scotland”.

Yvonne concluded: “Our family members are met with compassion, zero judgement and empathy. There is life over and above what they are experiencing now. I wish this service had been here when I needed it”.

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Finishing our chat, I’m left with gratitude at the authenticity and stewardship Yvonne devotes to those in her care. Thank you for all that you done since you were a student nurse at 20, the Fife community is lucky to have you.

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