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Fife Cultural Trust recognises the wider role that social activity plays in enhancing the quality of life and wellbeing of individuals. We actively work to ensure that we are supporting all communities in Fife; targeting services and events at those who are often excluded. In 2017/18, we continued to develop our significant experience of working collaboratively with NHS Fife and other local partners to deliver numerous activities that are focused on improving the health and wellbeing of Fife’s Communities.
Originally hosted at Kirkcaldy Galleries exclusively, Moments in Time sessions for those living with Dementia were introduced to Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, thanks to funding from the Dementia Strategy Group. 282 people have attended these interactive sessions throughout the year. Alongside these sessions, staff visit day centres and Age Concern groups to promote Moments in Time and other library services. Almost 100 staff have now received Dementia Friends training and Rothes Halls Library received Dementia Friendly accreditation in October 2017.
Working with NHS Fife, libraries across Fife now dispense hearing aid batteries to NHS patients. Rather than having to make the trip to a clinic, patients can now conveniently visit their local library and collect replacement batteries on production of their audiology logbook. The first year of this service has seen over 1,694 packs of batteries being distributed from our library facilities.
The continued success of Walk ON, a group devised to exercise participants’ body and mind, shows no signs of abating. As well as Walk ON sessions for adults we have now held dementia friendly sessions and Bookbug buggy walks. The routes taken on the walks are very adaptable allowing most people to be able to participate and gain the benefit of gentle exercise alongside the opportunity to make new friends and take part in lively conversations. A total of 113 sessions with 1,187 attendances for adults were held throughout the year, with an additional 14 Buggy Walks taking 341 adults and children on a walk followed by a Bookbug session.
Our Cultural Prescriptions classes were developed in partnership with NHS Fife in 2012. These classes offer clients living with stress, anxiety and mild depression the opportunity to take part in a variety of free creative classes. People can learn new skills and forge new friendships – increasing their confidence and mechanisms to cope with such issues.
With support from Fife Council locality budgets, classes were held in Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Lochgelly, Dalgety Bay, Kirkcaldy, Leven and St Andrews, offering subjects such as Wellbeing Through Meditation, Arts & Crafts, Photography & Pottery classes. Working with the local Community Education Worker we also offered a six-week block of Arts & Crafts in Oakley. People who experience mental health issues can often find it difficult to engage and sustain their attendance, however most of our classes have achieved a 75% attendance rate, with the majority of the 130 places booked up in each block.
GPs are still seeking to prescribe books to patients with mild to moderate stress, anxiety and depression. There were 1,759 Book Prescription Service issues in 2017/18 with 24 new members joining the library through this initiative. Discussions have begun with NHS Fife to review and condense the booklist to make it even more accessible for GPs and the service will be relaunched in 2018.
The therapeutic effect of creative art and craft projects is well-documented. We work closely with mental health services in Fife to display the finished pieces created by people undertaking therapy through art. We are proud to host the exhibition at the Lochgelly Centre which is timed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.