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

Invitation for Expressions of Interest: Digi Information and Events Officer

FASS has been invited by The Rank Foundation, in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund, to apply to their ‘Time to Shine’ Leadership Programme. This presents an opportunity for an individual with the right skills mix, talent and work ethic. A successful candidate will experience a 12- month paid leadership and development placement in FASS.

The role will focus on digital and in-person events and systems, both internally and externally. These will educate and engage on the issues of substance misuse and help isolated adults participate in community activity. At the same time they will lead on the development of internal FASS digi systems and use. The postholder will liaise closely with others engaged in digi media and client support across FASS’s various services. It will suit someone who is self-motivated in learning and development and keen to develop FASS communications channels.

The position is subject to successful interview by FASS and the funder. An appointed candidate will use their own initiative but will be fully supported through supervision and mentoring. Their personal development will require some travel and attendance at residential events and Action Learning sets throughout the year. They may also benefit from the experience of our previous Time to Shine Leader, now employed by FASS.

For more details head to our Recruitment page

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 (lintonlanecentre.com)

UK Parliament Commendation for FASS Adapt

Thank you to Neale Hanvey MP for celebrating our work with an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the UK Parliament and mentioning us during the Misuse of Drugs Act debate in the House of Commons. It's greatly appreciated!

You can view our EDM here: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/58707/fassadapt-supporting-substance-misuse-in-fifes-communities-during-the-covid19-pandemic

You can read the debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-06-17/debates/A1B14B26-EBB7-415F-9AA8-1620726307C5/MisuseOfDrugsAct

It is an privilege to help our Fife community.

Volunteer Stories

One of our Volunteer Counsellors has shared a story.

What motivated me to become a counsellor?

An unexpected conversation with my niece changed the direction of my life. In the family lounge of the hospice where we visited my sister for many weeks, my niece remarked that I should become a counsellor as I was always listening and supporting other relatives while we waited to see her mum.

Although I’ve always been told I’m “a good listener” and seem to be the kind of person that people feel they can tell their troubles to, I didn’t know very much about what counselling involved. I did a bit of research and thought it sounded interesting. So, I enrolled in an introductory course at the local college and discovered that it was definitely a path I’d like to explore further. I then did a follow-on course before I enrolled at university to study for a Masters Degree in Counselling, which I’ll complete this summer.

As part of the course we complete two years working as a volunteer trainee counsellor in a placement setting and I was lucky to join FASS in 2019 where I received specialist training before I began working with clients who were looking for support to change their problem drinking.

The whole team at FASS are such a great source of learning and support – my supervisor, fellow trainees, experienced counsellors and admin staff – have all been fantastic, both professional and supportive. I’m learning so much but mainly that the learning never stops!

I’ve also met so many lovely people both in face-to-face counselling sessions and, since lockdown, on the telephone: men and women of all ages and from all walks of life. It’s such a privilege to listen as they share their stories. In FASS we have a person-centred approach. Everyone is unique and I enjoy collaborating with clients to find what works best for them as they change their behaviour around alcohol and we explore the underlying issues that may be at the root of their difficulties, helping to identify and develop the skills they need to move forward in their lives.

Recently, I’ve been reading about the importance and power of connection for those seeking help with difficulties in life: maintaining good connections with the people around us that we trust and are supportive, as well as wider social connections to gain purpose and direction in our lives can have a really big impact.

Developing trusting relationships with clients and offering them hope that they can make changes are fundamental to how I see my approach as a counsellor. It might be a cliché, but l feel lucky to be doing something that I love, that is worthwhile, is making a contribution to our community and that might make a difference to someone’s life.

You out more about volunteering for FASS here: https://www.fassaction.org.uk/support-us-volunteer/

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