Dunfermline Press

Five out of five for charity’s efforts

‘The last few years have been tough for our team’

- Clare Buchanan cbuchanan@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

A CHARITY helping West Fifers with mental health illnesses has been given top marks after a visit from the Care Inspectora­te.

Penumbra Mental Health provides dedicated services for people experienci­ng mild to serious and enduring mental ill health.

The charity supports people on their journey to better mental health, by working with each person to find their own way forward.

Its Fife Short Term Housing Support achieved the top five ratings in the categories “How Well They Support People’s Wellbeing” and “How Good Their Leadership Is”.

Locally, Penumbra runs two services across Dunfermlin­e and West Fife. They have a self-harm service as well as a Short Term Housing Support service which is available for people aged 18 and over who own a home or hold a tenancy in West Fife.

The service offers high-quality, short-term housing support to people and through emotional and practical relief, creates unique support plans for clients.

Penumbra Fife manager Sharon Little was delighted to have impressed the inspectors.

“I’m very proud of our team!” she said. “The Care Inspectora­te report is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team who always put the people we support front and centre.

“The last few years have been tough for our team, but we have always prioritise­d compassion, kindness and skill and this is clear in the report.

“It’s a real moment of celebratio­n for all of us here in Fife and offers reassuranc­e to the people accessing our support that they will be guaranteed an excellent quality of service.”

A GRANT of £10,700 from Fife Council will allow the Touch Community Food Pantry to open up in the evening too.

The daytime service, run by volunteers in the community centre on Mercer Place, has already provided some help to struggling families and now it’s set to expand to accommodat­e those who can’t attend during working hours.

The City of Dunfermlin­e area committee was told on Tuesday the evening pantry could support up to 150 individual­s and families each week by redistribu­ting store cupboard essentials, chilled and frozen food, fruit and veg and bakery goods.

Committee convener James Calder said: “Many households in Dunfermlin­e are finding it difficult to balance their growing bills with their income.

“This is affecting working families too.

“The new evening pantry at Touch Community Centre will help households reduce some of these costs, as well as distributi­ng good food that would otherwise be going to landfill.”

As well as the main aim of reducing food waste, the pantry will offer an evening ‘warm space’ for locals to socialise and have a bite to eat with others, and a place to get advice on issues such as welfare support.

The money will pay for the ongoing food supply, utilising FareShare and other local food businesses, as well as start-up resources and equipment such as bags, containers, stationery, printing materials, aprons, crockery, soup urn, slow cooker and a freezer.

It will also fund the food and drinks in the warm space.

Councillor­s were told that with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis households are struggling to cope.

A report to the committee added: “This is not just people on benefits but the working families that don’t receive any support despite an increase in bills.

“The pantry can help alleviate some of the costs as well as help with food waste that would be going to landfill.”

It’s another service for Touch Community Centre which, prior to the pandemic, wasn’t being used to its full potential.

When Covid-19 hit it became a base for food provision and, after lockdown, the community pantry room was upgraded as use of the centre grew. It’s also used by Cafe Inc to tackle school holiday hunger.

 ?? ?? Penumbra Fife staff celebrate their Care Inspectora­te success.
Penumbra Fife staff celebrate their Care Inspectora­te success.
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