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 |


Coronavirus information and updates

Fife’s HSCP is working hard to prepare for the challenging time ahead and ensure that measures are in place to support the increased demand which will be placed on our services. Many of the services we normally deliver have been suspended to allow us to be prepared to deal with the increased coronavirus cases. Below you will find more information on the key services that need to be delivered for the health and safety of our communities.

We’re reminding everyone to follow advice from NHS Scotland to reduce the risk of catching or spreading viruses like Coronavirus and urge everyone over the age of 70 to self-isolate and follow government advice. This is no longer an option and we must work together to protect the people who are most vulnerable.

Staying at home to keep you safe and protect Social Care and NHS workers

Teams in the Health and Social Care Partnership have changed how they are delivering care – this is to keep you safe.

We need to reduce the number of reasons for people to come to a health facility. This is in line with Government information and to support older people and people with underlying health conditions who have been asked to stay at home.

We understand that people are possibly worried about health workers coming into their home, but we want to assure you that our staff are following strict infection control guidance.

If you are offered an appointment in your home this is because it is safer for you. By us visiting you it means you are not having to travel to and entering a health centre or clinic.

We want to ensure that you can continue to receive the healthcare you need in the safest place for you.

Care at Home

Changes to the Care at Home service times and continuity of care will mean that:

  • Morning visits will be anytime between 7am and 11am.
  • Lunch and tea visits may be combined based on individual needs.
  • Evening visits will be anytime between 6.30pm and 10:30pm.

Service users may not receive care from their usual carer or the carer they were expecting.

Service users who have any symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) should alert the Contact Centre on 03451 441503 in the first instance. If you are self-isolating, which means that you are not having contact with anyone outwith your home according to Government guidance, please let your Home Care Coordinator know as soon as possible. Please be assured that if you suspend any part of your service you will NOT lose you care package.

Social work

The Social Work Service including our Care at Home and Resources Service is re-organising the way we do business during the coronavirus epidemic. Due to limited staffing we need to organise and prioritise the services we are providing based on needs and risks.
Social workers will continue to be in touch either by telephone or by visiting homes. Service users who have any symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) are asked to alert their social worker.

Call the Contact Centre/duty team on 03451 441503 who can advise and support service users in difficulty or they need advice or support.

Access to Community Hospitals

We are carefully managing the presence of health and social care workers at the various sites and how they are travelling about.  We are applying the same measures in community hospitals. Community hospitals are not closed, though the doors may be locked.
Some of our sites include GP Practices, and as with practices across Fife, are locking doors to ensure people cannot walk-in without having called beforehand.
To support us in this please make a direct call to the area you are requiring access to and make an arrangement in advance so you can get access at an arranged time. Individual arrangements will exist for those families requiring access.
Thank you for your assistance with this.

Pharmacy prescription pick up volunteer service launched

NHS Fife and community pharmacies are working in partnership with public and private sector organisations to deliver medicines to vulnerable, elderly and at risk people. These volunteers will collect prescription medicines from community pharmacies and hospitals and deliver them to people at home. We must stress, that this service is only for those people who need it most e.g. people who are self isolating and have no family member, carer or friends nearby who can collect their medicines. We need your help to ensure the service is prioritised for those who need it most.

Deliveries started on Wednesday 25 March and included delivery of those prescriptions already in community pharmacies assembled and ready for collection.

Please be aware due to the level of demand and the impact on Community Pharmacy teams, repeat prescriptions are likely to take longer to be dispensed, 7-10 working days.

If you need help with medicine collections please contact the service by email at or phone: 0800 389 6046

Carers – emergency planning

Unpaid carers play a crucial role helping the most vulnerable people in our communities. But what happens if a carer cannot provide this care. During the Coronavirus epidemic we know that many unpaid carers will struggle to provide the same levels of care and support and how they provide this support will have to change.

Fife Health & Social Care Partnership has prepared some guidance for unpaid carers. We recommend that every carer creates their own emergency plan and if you already have one, update it to respond to the Coronavirus epidemic. It is simple to do and doesn’t require help from others. For more information visit the website.

Having an emergency plan can help to prevent an emergency from becoming a crisis.

Your emergency plan should set out what care you provide and the details of your caring situation and the relationship you have with the person you are caring for. It will let others know what needs to be done to continue supporting your cared-for person if you get ill.

Once you have written your own emergency plan, it is important that you share it with others in your caring circle. It’s also a good idea to put a copy of the plan somewhere obvious – in a letter rack or pinned to a kitchen notice board. This copy should be in your own home and in the home of the person you care for. You should also leave a copy of your emergency plan in the care at home book of the person you care for.

Additionally, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership has teamed up with Carers UK to offer carers in Fife access to a new app called Jointly. It makes caring for someone a little easier, less stressful and a lot more organised by making communication and coordination simpler between those who are sharing the care. Jointly is free to use by downloading the app from and registering with the free access code DGTL6234.

Cancer care 

The Fife Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey Service is continuing to accept self-referrals and referrals from health professionals to offer telephone assessments to people affected by cancer.

Staff are all equipped to work from home and we can signpost people to the Macmillan helpline on 0808 808 0000 for further support and advice.   We will also be able to signpost to other organisations within Fife where support is available.

For further information email: or phone 01592 578076 or visit the website.

Dementia care service 

The Dementia Friendly Fife Project has been suspended but Alzheimer Scotland is encouraging anyone looking for advice and support to use their 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000 or go to . The Helpline provides support and information if you or a family member need help with things such as shopping or collecting medication.


Joining Up Care Consultation Workshops

Come along to one of our local consultation workshops to find out more about how Health and Social Care services could be improved for you and the communities of Fife.

The focus of the workshops will be:

  • Community Health & Wellbeing Hubs
  • Out of Hours Urgent Care Redesign
  • Community Hospital and Intermediate Care Bed Redesign


  • Tuesday 21st August • 6.45pm – 8.30pm
    City Chambers, Dunfermline
  • Thursday 23rd August • 6.45pm – 8.30pm
    Fife Voluntary Action, East Fergus Place, Kirkcaldy
  • Tuesday 28th August • 6.45pm – 8.30pm
    CISWO, South Street, Glenrothes
  • Thursday 30th August • 6.45pm – 8.30pm
    Inverkeithing High School, 10 Queen Street, Inverkeithing
  • Tuesday 4th September • 6.45pm – 8.30pm
    County Buildings, St Catherine Street, Cupar
  • Wednesday 5th September • 11.15am – 1pm
    City Chambers, Dunfermline
  • Tuesday 11th September • 11.15am – 1pm
    County Buildings, St Catherine Street, Cupar
  • Wednesday 12th September • 11.15am – 1pm
    Fife House, North St, Glenrothes
  • Thursday 13th September • 6.45pm – 8.30pm
    Inzievar Primary School, Station Rd, Oakley
  • Tuesday 18th September • 6.45pm – 8.30pm
    The Centre, 1 Broomieknowe, Leven
  • Thursday 20th September • 6.45pm – 8.30pm
    Waid Community Campus, Anstruther
  • Monday 24th September • 6.45pm – 8.30pm 
    Assembly Rooms, Madras College, St Andrews
  • Tuesday 25th September • 6.45pm – 8.30pm
    Lochgelly Centre

*Doors will open 30 minutes before event starts. Please note that these events will be covered by the media. Photography and filming may take place throughout the event and used for publicity and promotional reasons (e.g. social media, internet, in print, TV etc).

Click here to find out more about Joining Up Care in Fife


Improving Lung Cancer Care

An innovative approach to supporting patients in Fife with incurable lung cancer is providing comprehensive and individualised care whilst allowing patients to spend significantly less time in hospital and more time at home.

The project, which was developed in partnership with NHS Fife, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership and Macmillan Cancer Support Scotland, has proved so successful that this new model of care for people with advanced lung cancer is now part of normal practice.

In Fife around 40% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer are unfit to receive anti-cancer treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, either because they are too unwell or treatment is no longer working and may reduce quality of life.

These patients receive what is known as Best Supportive Care – where the focus is on supporting patients and their families when anti-cancer treatment is not possible.

A reliable and consistent model of Best Supportive Care was developed, one which could be delivered to all patients who needed it.

As a result, patients with advanced lung cancer are identified at the earliest stage and referred for comprehensive assessment and personalised care planning.

Assessments are carried out promptly at home, in an outpatient clinic or within hospital, depending on patient need and preference, with families and carers given the opportunity to discuss the illness in more detail. Physical symptoms, emotional, spiritual and practical needs are assessed and plans are made to address anything of concern, from medication issues to issues around financial support.

Follow-up is based wherever the patient is, normally within their own home, and patients are able to access ongoing support and advice – giving them as much control and choice as possible.

The service has been positively received by patients and their families who have said that they feel well informed and actively involved in their care planning.

Dr Steinunn Boyce, Consultant in Palliative Care Medicine, said: “We set out to improve patient care and patient experience, not only for the patient but for their families and the important people around them who are also affected by the diagnosis.

“Being in hospital is sometimes unavoidable and it’s sometimes the right place to be, but through this project we have been able to reduce the length of time that people spend in hospital – making sure that we are addressing their needs and supporting them so that they can be at home.”


Creating Healthy Communities

Come along to one of our seven local roadshow to find out more about the benefits of Health & Social Care Integration and how you can get involved.

Michael Kellet, Director of Health & Social Care, will kick off the events discussing why it’s important we create healthier communities together.

Events are open to:

  • • Users of health and social care services and carers
  • • Health and social care professionals/practitioners
  • • Representatives of the housing sector
  • • Voluntary and independent sector providers of health and social care services
  • • Anyone interested in helping develop future health and social care services in your area

Tuesday 21st March • 1.30pm – 3pm
Rothes Halls, Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes,

Wednesday 22nd March • 1pm – 2.30pm
Crossgates Community Centre, Inverkeithing Road, Cowdenbeath

Tuesday 18th April • 10am – 11.30am
Buckhaven Community Centre, Kinnear Street, Levenmouth

Wednesday 26th April • 10am – 11.30am
Inverkeithing Civic Centre, 10 Queen Street, Inverkeithing

Tuesday 2nd May • 1.30pm – 3pm 
Dell Farquharson Community Centre, Nethertown Broad Street, Dunfermline

Monday 8th May • 1.30pm – 3pm
New Howe of Fife Rugby Club, Duffus Park, Cupar (behind swimming pool)

Monday 15th May • 1.30pm – 3pm,
Town House, 2 Wemyssfield, Kirkcaldy

For more information contact:


Fifers asked to help reduce medicine waste

NHS Fife is appealing to locals to play their role in reducing medicines waste, which totals around £2million every year.

Everyone comes into contact with NHS services at some point; whether that is through our regular dental check-up, an appointment with our GP or a visit from our family Health Visitor. It is easy to take for granted that we can access the wide variety of healthcare services free at the point of need.

Providing such services requires considerable resources and it is crucial that this resource is spent as wisely as possible to offer the maximum benefit to the people of Fife. NHS Fife, now part of Fife’s Health and Social Care Partnership, has launched a ‘Love Your NHS Fife’ campaign, which reminds people of the valuable work it does and asks Fife’s residents to play their part making healthcare services in the Kingdom as efficient and effective as possible.

NHS Fife Medical Director, Dr Frances Elliot, says:

“We can all do our bit. We all love and value our NHS and we all have a responsibility ensure its resources are being used in the most efficient way possible.  Medicines worth £2million are wasted each year in Fife – money that could be better spent improving the services we provide for patients”.

There are a whole host of positive or unavoidable reasons why some medicines go to waste: A health condition improves and the medicine is no longer required or a prescription is changed because the original medication is not working well enough. However people who have repeat prescriptions may sometimes find they have more than they need and this is where they can help reduce waste.

Dr. Elliot adds

“There are simple things people can do to help. People tend to get their prescriptions in bulk over Christmas, afraid that their pharmacy will be closed over the festive season. However, if  they order too much of something they use relatively infrequently the chances of this going out of date and having to be disposed of increases. So we are asking people to request medicines only in quantities that they will use. There is no need to stockpile”.

People are also asked to check their medicines before they leave a pharmacy to ensure the bag they are handed contains the correct medicines and only those they need. Dr. Elliot explains “ Many people are under the misconception that returned or unwanted medicines can be reused, but returned medicines must be incinerated on the grounds of safety. Once medicines leave the pharmacy premises those medicine cannot be reused even if they are returned unopened”.

Whilst prescriptions are free to patients, the medicines prescribed are not and the associated costs of these medicines have risen very significantly over recent years.

“That’s why we are asking Fife’s residents to help NHS Fife and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership by using medicines wisely and to #LoveYourNHSFife”.

Watch the information video here.