Keeping Connected

Alcohol and its harmful effects often makes the headlines, but what about the positive stories of those people who turn their lives around? Here we find out how the Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS) will use its £149,750 grant to help people like Sam and Janice facing challenging times.

FASS 2012 no shadow

“I often feel isolated and overlooked…almost like a second class citizen”. Powerful but truthful words from Janice Sharp, from Cowdenbeath. “I don’t want to stay at home and be invisible…I want to speak to people who have had similar experiences and won’t judge me. I want to socialise, be supportive and be able to support others. That’s why it’s great to know that FASS will set up peer support groups thanks to this funding.”

Explaining the difference the money will make, Jim Bett, Service Manager at FASS, said: “This award means we can set up a peer support network for adults to help them to connect to their local communities through Curnie Clubs, Curnie being an old word for small number or company.

“We are all delighted that Curnie Clubs will be springing up around Fife over the next two years. The clubs will introduce people who have faced particularly challenging circumstances to each other, in a social setting. Located in members’ neighbourhoods, they will give people the chance to move on together to wider community activity.

Sam Stewart
Sam Stewart

“This will help individuals become members of their communities again. People can often become severely isolated through ongoing circumstances such as addiction, domestic abuse or involvement in the Criminal Justice System. Getting reconnected socially can be very daunting so this network will help members’ rediscover their individual strengths through lots of fun, group activity.”

The clubs are already generating great interest and enthusiasm. Sam Stewart from Inverkeithing has taken part and tells us more: “I’ve been a part of many local groups but have realized through time there is one thing missing, peer support. I’ve suffered low mood and depression in the past as well has having Bi-polar and ADHD. I feel this kind of club will really help people who are scared to get out of the house to get back their place in society. It sounds like a great way to make and maintain new friendships.”

Check out this list of groups sharing in our latest grants  totalling £17 million.


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