V1P Fife Summer Newsletter
Veterans First Point Fife Newsletter
Welcome to the Veterans’ First Point Fife Summer Newsletter
The start of 2020 has not been as we had imagined or planned. As a society, we have mobilised and responded to the challenges posed by COVID19 in remarkable ways. As individuals, many of us have faced losses and we have all had to adjust the way we live in significant ways. As a service, we had to take the unprecedented step of suspending scheduled face-to-face appointments so that V1P clinical staff could be re-deployed as part of NHS Fife’s plan to manage COVID-19.
We know it has been a difficult and stressful period for many people and we would like to thank you for your understanding about changes to the service during this time. We would like to say thank you to Dean (Peer Support Worker) for staffing our contact point phone line during this period.
We are now very pleased to say that we are in the process of re-mobilising V1P Fife and that key elements of the service (registrations and therapy appointments) will again be operational by the end of June. We also expect to be open again to new referrals by the end of July. To maintain social distancing, we will be offering peer support and therapy appointments via video-conferencing or phone until the time when we can safely offer appointments in person.
We will shortly be in contact by with everyone who is registered with us to ask you what you need from V1P Fife at the current time.
Once again, we would like to thank you for your patience and understanding over recent weeks. We ask for your continued understanding as we adapt the service to the “new normal”. We are very much looking forward to reconnecting with you again soon.
To maintain social distancing we are asking people not to drop into the office at Cardenden Health Centre at the moment.
If you would like to speak to a member of the team, please call 07976 739583 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) 0900-1700, or email
You can also check the V1P Website for updates https://www.veteransfirstpoint.org.uk/news
You can also follow us on Twitter@V1PFife
As always, we welcome your feedback on the service or the updates in this newsletter. Let us know your thoughts!
Staff welcome and goodbyes
March has been a time for several welcomes and good-byes at V1P Fife.
We said goodbye to Dr Andy Summers, our Service Lead in March this year and to Dr Tom Bacon, our Operational Lead in May. Both Andy and Tom have moved on to different roles in NHS Fife. We wish them both well and thank them for their service and contribution to V1P.
We said goodbye to Teresa Bramley (Peer Support Worker) who retired in March. Many of you will know Teresa from the drop-in or through her 1:1 peer support. Teresa has been with V1P Fife from its start in 2016 and we are very grateful for her hard work and dedication in supporting our veterans.
Lastly, we said goodbye to Catherine Carrick, our administrator, who also retired this year. You may have spoken to Catherine on the phone or received letters from her. She has worked tirelessly and efficiently behind the scenes to keep V1P running and she will be very much missed.
We welcome Dr Sharon Doherty (Consultant Clinical Psychologist) to V1P as our new Service Lead. Sharon joined us in March and has many years of experience working both in the NHS and for charities. She is looking forward to working with veterans and staff to build and grow the V1P Fife service.
We also welcome Ashley Bairstow-Gay as our new administrator in April. Ashley is experienced in working in the NHS and will take over Catherine’s role of supporting the team and running our systems.
We will be recruiting more members of staff over the coming months and look forward to welcoming new members to the team.
Online WELLBEING & RESILIENCE RESOURCES
Our colleagues at V1P Lothian have written a very helpful guide for coping with the current restrictions on our lives. You can download a copy at: https://www.veteransfirstpoint.org.uk/news/veterans-first-point-lothian-resilience-guide-covid-19
The NHS Fife Psychology department have produced lots of useful online resources to support resilience. These can be found at: https://www.moodcafe.co.uk/
The NHS Fife YouTube Channel has videos about mental health and wellbeing. Keep checking for updates: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH84VjFLtSV0CXas3a_nUrw
STAYING CONNECTED: DROP-IN UPDATE
At this time, as we emerge from lockdown and at a time where many people still have to self-isolate, we have never been more aware of the importance of staying connected to others.
However, due to Scottish Government social distancing guidance linked to COVID19, we are not presently able to run the V1P drop-ins.
We are monitoring government advice closely and will look to re-open the drop-ins as soon as it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, we wish to support veterans to make socially-distanced and online contact with otherveterans and others in their community and would be delighted to hear about ways you are doing this currently - and your ideas about how V1P Fife might support you to stay connected.
Strengthening family relationships
We are continuing our partnership with Live Life this year. This is a group of organisations led by the charity Cyrenians - working together to help veterans and their families overcome the stress that can be caused by mental and physical health problems, or the transition to civilian life. Live Life offers family mediation and a range of activities that families can do to spend time together and improve relationships.
If you would like more information or think that Live Life could help your family you can look at the website: https://www.livelifepartnership.org/ or speak to one of the V1P Team.
WELLBEING: GROW YOUR MIND
Building skills – growing wellbeing
A group of veterans are now half way through the ‘Employ your Mind’ project which runs as a partnership between V1P Fife and Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT). The programme aims to help people build employment skills where employment has been difficult due to problems with mental health. The funding for the Project comes from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund.
We are continuing to work together with FEAT to create programmes that are relevant to the needs of veterans, and we are pleased to say that we have secured funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund for a further project with FEAT called ‘Grow Your Mind’.
This is an outdoor wellbeing project which will be based at Silverburn Park near Leven. Participants will learn horticultural and land-based skills in green spaces. The project is planned to begin in September, subject to COVID-19 restrictions. Please speak to us if you would like to know more.
With best wishes from the V1P Fife Team, August 2020