Tackling isolation and loneliness with Curnie Clubs

John Hamilton, who is Chairperson at Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS) was very enthusiastic when we asked him about Curnie Clubs.

“This is one of our newer ideas to tackle isolation and loneliness at the heart of our communities in Fife. We started Curnie Clubs back in September 2016 and we have been very fortunate to have this operation funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, so as not to divert money from our other more traditional activities.”

“Curnie Clubs have from the outset been very much service user, or peer led with our understanding of need focused at a very local level. There has been wonderful organic growth into various communities, originally starting in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Cupar and Methil, and we have now expanded even further into Cowdenbeath and 2 groups in Glenrothes.”

John continued “I am very proud to report that to date we have had over 300 referrals since we started nearly 3 years ago, and where practical, we can work with other Services. Our joint working with the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) in Glenrothes has been particularly popular with service users from both groups joining together, and during last winter, we participated in Delivering Differently in Cowdenbeath, helping people back into productive employment and volunteering.”

John then gave details from one of the beneficiaries of Curnie Clubs, viz:

“I had been going through a bad time and went into a depression. I wouldn't go out unless I had someone with me. The Job Centre gave me a leaflet for Curnie Clubs and I gave them a call. Curnie Clubs made me feel very welcome and part of the family. It feels like a happy family. They have helped me get my confidence back and from going to Curnie Clubs as a member, I went on to doing volunteering for them. I've also done social enterprise training, my emergency first aid, a food hygiene course and a step-up course at college. I've got Level 4 for Numeracy, I've done Communications, ICT Enterprise, Tourism, Employability and Customer Care skills”

and added that the person in question had now got a job working 30 hours per week!

John concluded by stating “If you are feeling isolated or have a real sense of loneliness, then why not consider joining a local Curnie Club? It's very simple to do, just call 07748-631417 or 07748-631648 for further details, or e-mail at curnieclubsinfife@gmail.com – it could make a world of difference!