Tribute to woman who helped hundreds of Fife couples with relationship troubles

Lily with Jill Grant, former co-ordinator of Couples Counselling Fife. Pic by Walter Neilson
Lily with Jill Grant, former co-ordinator of Couples Counselling Fife. Pic by Walter Neilson

Lily Scott MBE, who helped hundreds of Fife couples at troubled times in their marriages during her 40 years as a marriage guidance counsellor, died recently at the age of 87.

The dedicated volunteer was honoured for her service receiving an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2011, and only stopped counselling a few years ago.

Born in Dysart at her family’s chip shop at the White Gates, Lily was the middle child of nine and during her long life she never moved more than a few miles from where she was raised, although she was well travelled and open minded.

She went to Dysart Primary and then Kirkcaldy High School before becoming a clerical assistant in a local lawyers’ office.

She went on to work in various jobs: with the Gas Board, as a librarian and doing clerical work for her husband Andrew’s, known as Scotty, haulage firm then for Sandy Robertson Joiners.

She married Scotty in 1952 and they had three children, Audrey, Hazel and Johnston; and eight grandchildren.

Lily began counselling in 1975 after seeing an advert in the Fife Free Press looking for people to volunteer.

During an interview with the Press back in 2010, she said: “Whenever anyone had any problems they used to come to me for advice, so I thought I would give counselling a go.”

Her four decades of service saw the charity undergo many name changes, starting out as Fife Marriage Guidance then Relate Scotland and then Relationship Scotland Couple Counselling Fife.

In her little spare time, Lily was very involved with the United Free Church in Dysart and, when it closed, the one in Burntisland. She was also a member of the local Poosie Nansie club and the Women’s Guild and ran a slimming class two nights a week.

When her husband died in 1992 she went along to a Cruse bereavement group where she formed a close group of lifelong friends who held regular get-togethers.

Mieke van der Zijpp, manager at Couple Counselling Fife, said: “Lily was very dedicated to helping people. She was able to reach out to so many people from all walks of life, individuals and couples, from all age groups, and she had a very strong commitment to the organisation.”

Her funeral was held at Dysart St Clair Kirk on Monday, with the service conducted by Alexander Ritchie from the Burntisland United Free Church.