Here you will find news articles, press releases and occasional blogs about the charity's activities.

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Vote of confidence for unique Fife approach to tackling loneliness

  • Curnie Clubs are secured in Fife for another three years thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund
  • Unique approach combines friendship, therapeutic support and counselling
  • Further funding sought to meet need following lockdown

FASS Curnie Clubs will be helping lonely and isolated adults back into communities across Fife for another three years. The news comes thanks to a vote of confidence through funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. The Clubs began in 2015 and, thanks to a great record to date, are now assured to 2024. They are small social groups (Curnie is a Scots word for a small gathering), with several running across Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes, Methil, Leven, Cupar and Cowdenbeath. Since lockdown it’s been very apparent that social isolation takes a heavy toll over time, so the Clubs are vital now.


We’re delighted to share the news Lisa McDonald, one of Counsellors, is celebrating her accreditation as an Alcohol Counsellor.

Lisa has kindly shared some details of her learning journey as a counsellor and her involvement with FASS.

“So, I started volunteering with FASS on the 18th of December 2018 I had my first client, I started volunteering with FASS as a placement for my Diploma

I decided to go to University to study counselling in 2016, I was on Maternity leave from working at a bank and decided if I don’t go and study now I never will, I had always wanted to be a counsellor after my mother in law passed away due to suicide in 2006 this destroyed my family and really effected myself and ended up having to go to counselling myself which helped me so much and don’t know what I would of done without having this, so thought how much I would like to help others, but at that time I had a full time job and had bills to pay, so decided to go and do a evening class and completed Counselling skills level 1 and 2 and did some volunteer work as a befriender. Finally, when I was on maternity thinking about what to do with my life I thought right this is my time and applied to Queen Margaret University and got in and started in 2016 and finally graduated in 2019.

Being a volunteer has given me so much experience and I am so grateful I got this opportunity to do it, I learnt more volunteering than I ever did at university, don’t get me wrong university gave all the theory side, but the real-life experience came from volunteering. I have since managed to get a job through FASS but still continue to volunteer.”

Congratulations Lisa!

Alcohol Counsellor Accreditation Success for Our Natasha!

We’re delighted to share the news Natasha Shearer one of Volunteer Counsellors is celebrating becoming accredited as an Alcohol Counsellor.

Natasha has kindly shared some details of her learning journey as a counsellor and her involvement with FASS.

“I started volunteering with Fife Alcohol Support Services (FASS) in April 2019 after completing a Degree in Psychology and an Advance Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. The first time I have heard about FASS was from a couple of my colleagues during my Advance Diploma training and hearing my colleagues talking about the positive impact this organisation is making not just for their clients and the wider Fife community, but their staff and volunteers made me want to be part of such a team and made me want to be part of such a cause. Looking back now, I can say that the initial expectations I had when joining FASS have been met and exceeded, to be part of a team where you feel supported, valued and respected; to feel part of something great and that you are making a difference.

From Day one, I have felt at home and valued as a member of the bigger FASS Family. This family’ support never faltered, not even in the face of the Covid pandemic during which our services had to be transferred on-line and with telephone. In the past 2 years with the help and support of FASS staff and my peers, I have managed to complete a Certificate in Advanced Alcohol Counselling Skills amongst a dozen of other CPD courses. However, most importantly this organisation has helped me to become a confident counsellor able to adapt and evolve, maintaining quality and professionalism in any circumstances.

I was always interested in what makes people ‘tick’ so to speak – what makes people act the way they do? I love asking lots of questions and listening to what people have to say. I am that annoying person who would like to know what is behind a person’s answer of ‘I am fine’, when asked ‘how are you?’. From a very young age I discovered that I had a fascination for human stories and this fascination has remained strong to this day. However, my passion for psychology did not come until I became a parent myself and struggled to find my way through the parenthood realm. In my search for bettering myself as a parent I began to search for answers to my question of ‘what makes people tick’ and sadly quite often these answers were rather negative. For example, previous trauma could be the root cause for an individual who finds relationships difficult despite desperately needing and wanting them. My journey as a parent and a counsellor has evolved from needing to know why and how things happens to an individual, to what can be done about it and how I can help this individual through this?

Since I first posed these questions, many years have passed, however these questions still sit alongside many others. I am often asked ‘how I am managing to do what I do…listen to people’s problem’. The hardest thing for me is not having to listen to people’s issues. The hardest thing for me is having to deal with the fear that I’m not doing enough, or my work doesn’t create the change clients deserve, or having to sit with the knowledge that the system doesn’t support my clients’ needs.

I see my role at FASS as a privilege - for me it is a privilege to be a counsellor and work with people who put their trust in me.”

Congratulations Natasha!

Down the Lane Podcast with FASS

Our Helen and Sarah from our alcohol counselling services took part in the Down the Lane Podcast at the Linton Lane Centre this week.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about our services and work with the Fife Community.

Down The Lane With... | Lintonlane (

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