Emma’s raising money for NHS workers

Emma Smart has raised nearly £2,000 for the NHS by selling over 300 special mugs designed to support NHS workers. Emma who is a Home Carer came up with the idea to raise the money when she saw her friend’s mug which had the eye-catching design, loved it and thought her colleagues and friends might also want one. It turned out they did, and the orders flooded in. 

The mug has been designed and produced by her friend’s sister Theresa Isaac of ‘Believe Designs’ and together they agreed that part of the payment for the mugs would be donated to the NHS. And because they had such a large order and were raising money for the NHS the courier delivered the mugs free of charge.  

Emma says: “Thank-you so much to everyone who has ordered a mug, it is very much appreciated. I’ve not really done much just taking the orders – it’s everyone who has bought a mug that has made the difference by supporting a great cause.” 

Kindness improves mental health – Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is focusing on how acts of ‘Kindness’ improve lives and communities. Mental Health Foundation research shows that ‘Kindness’ strengthens relationships, develops a sense of community and deepens feelings of solidarity. It is essential to our individual and collective mental health. 

Nicky Connor Director of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “I welcome the focus on ‘Kindness’ during National Mental Health Awareness Week and have been humbled by the many examples of kindness shown by individuals and communities across Fife during Covid 19.  Mental Health is a priority and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is committed to caring for the mental wellbeing of communities in Fife and promoting ways to maintain good mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week is also an opportunity to highlight how mental health services have responded to the coronavirus pandemic and how it has impacted those who use our health and social care services and our staff. We are showcasing the broad scope of work we undertake to support people and how kindness is a fundamental aspect of improving mental health for individuals and communities.”

Julie Paterson Divisional General Manager of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “Our staff provide high quality care and support which is matched to the unique needs and outcomes of individuals whether they are in hospital or living in the community.

The Fife Health and Social Care Partnership has developed a shared mental health strategy for Fife by engaging the people and communities of Fife. Titled ‘Let’s really raise the bar’ 2020-2024 the strategy outlines the importance of continuing to work closely with our partners to promote and support ways to maintain good mental health. There are many examples of the great work being done and how everyone is working together during these unprecedented times.”

The Fife Psychology Service moved very quickly in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and in just a week set up a staff hub and quiet zone for frontline health and social care staff. They are now available at locations across Fife including Maggie’s Centre, Kirkcaldy, Queen Margaret Hospital Dunfermline, Cameron Hospital, Windygate and the Ceres Centre, Stratheden.

Mental Health support in communities is being provided by Sam’s cafĂ© and other voluntary organisations. Sam’s cafĂ© is a mental health project that allows people to access help quickly and informally.  Based in KIrkcaldy and Dunfermline Sam’s cafĂ© is providing help during the Covid-19 emergency by chatting to people by telephone and encouraging anyone who feels alone with their problems to get in touch.

The project is run by employees who have experienced mental issues giving them a unique insight into the problems people may have and enabling them to provide relevant advice and coping strategies. To find out more go to


Purple Hippo Project

What is the Purple Hippo Project?

It’s about knitting lots of purple hippos to give to young people to thank them for taking part in sessions to learn about dementia. The hippos are a gift that they get along with a certificate to show that they’ve completed a ‘Dementia Friends’ session. During the session they learn about dementia and how it affects people and families and gives them a greater understanding about how people’s lives are changed by the illness. The young people are also encouraged to show others in the community how they can help people affected by dementia.

‘Dementia Friends’ sessions were put on hold during the Coronavirus emergency but preparations are underway to be ready with lots of hippos to give when the sessions can begin again.

During this lockdown period, why not support the preparations by knitting a few hippos yourself? It will really help a great cause. Donations will be collected once restrictions are reduced.

Knitted hippo instructions

knitted hippos

Size: Approx. 2.5 inches long.


  • 2. 75mm needles
  • Oddments of double knitting yarn in body colour,
  • and some black to embroider the face
  • Darning needle
  • Polyester stuffing


7 sts and 10 rows to 1 inch, or close to this. You want nice tight knitting that the stuffing won’t show through.


  • k – knit;
  • p – purl;
  • st(s) – stitch(es);
  • st-st – stocking stitch;
  • kfb – increase by knitting into the front and back of the next st;
  • k2tog – decrease by knitting the next 2 sts together;
  • kfbf – increase by 2 ex.tra sts by knititng into the front and back, and then front again of the next st;
  • k3tog – decrease by 2 sts by knitting the next 3 sts together.

Body and Head:

  • Cast on 10 sts.
  • Row 1: (kfb) into every st – 20 sts.
  • Row 2: p
  • Row 3: (kfb) into every st – 40 sts
  • Rows 4-26: st-st, beginning p (23 rows)
  • Row 27: (k2tog) to end – 20 sts.
  • Row 28: p
  • Row 29: k7, (kfbf) 6 times, k7 – 32 sts.
  • Row 30: p .
  • Row 31: (k2, kfb) 3 times, k14, (kfb, k2) 3 times – 38 sts.
  • Row 32-44: st-st, beg p (13 rows)
  • Row 45: k3, (k3tog) 4 times, kB, (k3tog) 4 times, k3 – 22 sts.
  • Row 46: p
  • Row 47: (k2tog) to end – 11 sts.

Break off a long length of yarn, thread through the remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off. Seam row edges, leaving about 1 cm open at the cast on edge. Stuff body and head firmly. Close remaining seam. Gather round cast on sts, pull up tightly and fasten off. Use a length of yarn to work a line of gathering sts around the neck and pull up to add further shape to the neck. Fasten off and sew in any ends.

Legs {make 4):

  • Cast on 14 sts.
  • Rows 1-6: st-st, beg k
  • Row 7: (k2tog) to end – 7 sts.

Break off a long length of yarn, thread through remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off.

Seam row edges. Stuff well. Position 4 legs on base of body, taking care to ensure that hippo can stand unaided, and sew in place.

Ears {make 2):

  • Cast on 8 sts.
  • Rows 1-2: st-st, beginning k
  • Row 3: (k2tog) to end – 4 sts.

Break off a long length of yarn, thread through remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off. Using the photo as a guide, position the ears on the head and sew the row edges to the head, leaving the cast on edge to curve upwards.


  • Cast on 6 sts.
  • Cast off.

Sew one row edge of tail just above the gathered cast on sts at the back of the body.


Use black yarn to embroider two eyes and two nostrils, using the photo as a guide for placement.

© Aine Marriott 2011 |

Personal Protective Equipment for unpaid carers and paid personal assistants

The Scottish Government has committed to providing information and advice and appropriate supplies of PPE. Here in Fife we already have plans for making PPE available to unpaid carers/family and paid personal assistants, as well as encouraging unpaid carers to access other support to help with their caring role. You may be entitled to free PPE if you are an unpaid carer.

Unpaid Carers
An unpaid carer is any person who, without payment, helps and supports a relative, child, neighbour or friend who could not manage without their help due to age, frailty, addiction, disability or illness.

You may request PPE as an unpaid carer if:

  • the person you care for has symptoms of or a diagnosis of COVID-19
  • the person has received a shielding letter and you aren't in isolation together
  • any other risk there maybe for both carer and cared for.

To request PPE please email or phone Fife Carers Centre:

  • email:
  • phone 01592 205472

How can Self-Directed Support Personal Assistants access PPE?
Employers of PAs receive a SDS budget or Direct Payment from Fife Council. The employer may not be the person receiving the care.

You may request PPE as a PA employer if:

  • The person receiving care has a diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19
  • Another member of the same household has a diagnosis or symptoms
  • The person receiving care has received a shielding letter
  • Any other risk for person receiving care or Personal Assistant/s

To request PPE please email or phone SDS Options Fife: 

  • email:
  • phone 01592 803280

The request will be assessed by SDS Options Fife and the urgency/need determined. SDS Options Fife will deliver directly to your home.

Download the poster PPE for unpaid carers here.

‘Stay safe and shut out the scammers’ – that’s the message from Fife Adult Support and Protection Committee

Alan Small, Independent Chair of Fife Adult Support and Protection Committee advised “While public services, community groups and volunteers are providing incredible support for those who need it, we ask everyone to stay alert and protect yourself from fraud and scams.  We know that criminals are using the Coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to target vulnerable people but you can help yourself to say safe by following this advice:

  • Only let somebody into your home if you know who they are. Be wary if someone turns up unexpectedly.  If in doubt, don’t answer the door.
  • Check who you are dealing with. Ask to see their identity card.  Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions about their identity – genuine callers will expect you to be careful. Close the door and phone the organisation using a number from their website to confirm their identity if you are unsure.

If they contact you by phone, hang up, check their details and call them back.

  • Never hand your bank card or give card/bank details to someone at the door.

Only give someone cash when they have delivered your items to you.  Make sure you get what you ordered.

  • Be wary of telephone calls, emails, texts or WhatsApp messages offering advice and treatment for Coronavirus. Don’t click on email links or open attachments from a sender you don’t recognise. Never give personal information or bank details to someone who has contacted you by phone or email. A trusted organisation will never ask you to do this.
  • Don’t be pressured into donating money.  Never make donations by cash or gift card, or send money through transfer agents such as Western Union or Moneygram.
  • To report a crime call Police Scotland on 101.

“We also remind you that the Adult Protection Phone Line continues to be available if you or anyone you know is at risk of harm or neglect. Call 01383 602200 – it’s vital to raise your concerns. You don’t need to provide your personal details; the Social Work Service will check the situation sensitively, and support will be given, if needed.  Adult harm can take many forms, such as physical, psychological, financial, sexual harm, neglect and self-harm. People who can’t look after themselves or find it difficult to stand up for themselves can be particularly at risk, because of their personal circumstances, or a physical or learning disability, age or illness.  We all have a responsibility to look out for people in our communities.  For more information about adult protection visit: and for scams advice visit: and

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Addiction Services – reaching out to care

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s Addictions Service is working hard to ensure over 1800 patients continue to receive care and support.

Working with colleagues from Third Sector agencies, allied health professionals and addiction recovery support groups they are reaching out to patients to provide the best service possible at this difficult time.

Lynn Barker Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s Associate Director of Nursing said:

“We are very grateful for the support from Third Sector agencies and addiction recovery support groups during this crisis. The Addictions Service has been coordinating activities to meet the challenge of the Coronavirus outbreak. Employees from Third Sector agencies and allied health professionals have been delivering Naloxone kits and prescriptions to pharmacies across Fife and to patients who are self- isolating or being shielded.  For patients in recovery, support groups are providing vital services through online forums.

The Addictions service contacted every patient by telephone and letter to let them know about the changes to the services. Opiate dependent patients have been issued with individual Naloxone kits, which might save their life if they have an overdose. Nursing teams are available by telephone to assess needs, review treatment and provide advice and support.”

Angela Swift Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s Clinical Services Manager said: “Everyone from the alcohol and drug partnership Fife (ADP) is working together and using technology to support patients on their continuing goal of recovery.  Virtual peer support recovery meetings are being provided by the Fife intensive rehabilitation substance misuse team and DAPL (Drug, Alcohol Psychotherapies Limited). They are proving to be crucial and one-to-one support is offered by telephone. Feedback from patients is very positive; they are saying:

  • “Certainly, lifts my spirits! I would be a mess without peer support
  • “Peer support is a godsend!”
  •  “If it wasn’t for others in the group giving me good ideas on occupying my time I would be in a state!”
  •  “Was amazing seeing everyone’s face in today’s meeting, this really helps.” 
  • “Good support received on the session today thank you.”
  • “Great to see everyone, I really enjoyed the woman’s video chat tonight, so much strength from women.”