Fife Employment Access Trust- Heading for Success

Heading for success: Fife charity wins national award for mental health services


The Fife charity celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary with the highest recognition from leading think tank

Twenty-five years after its foundation, the Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT) has won a Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Award for its work supporting those with mental health problems to find employment.

The prize, presented on Tuesday evening at a prestigious venue in Central London, includes a £10,000 grant and promotion of the organisation’s vital work before an audience of influential politicians, journalists and philanthropists.

According to the Scottish Government, around one in three people are estimated to be affected by mental illness in any one year. Many of these struggle to find or maintain stable employment.

FEAT was set up in 1994 by a small group of people concerned about the lack of employment opportunities for people in Fife who had experience of mental health problems. Some of this group had personal experience of mental ill health, and were all too aware of the problems of finding a job and the stigma that prevailed. Today, they have twenty-five years of experience directly supporting people with mental health problems to find and sustain work and have expanded their range of services greatly.

 They run a range of programmes to help those in need.

Employ your Mind, a project run in partnership between FEAT and Fife Health & Social Care Mental Health Services, aims to assist people who have a severe and enduring condition and who have experienced long-term psychiatric care. It has attracted international interest.

FEAT also delivers the Fife Individual Placement & Support Service (IPS), an evidenced-based model of supported employment for people with severe mental health issues. They recently reached “exemplary” standard following an external assessment against the recognised IPS fidelity scale. They are now the highest-ranked IPS Service in Scotland.

They are moving ahead with plans to take over Silverburn Park in Leven from the local authority, with a view to creating a centre for health and wellbeing and ultimately commercial activities to reinvest in the charity.

Duncan Mitchell, General Manager of FEAT, said: “Day in, day out we get to work with people experiencing severe disadvantages in life due to their mental health and help them to unlock their ability and talent to overcome their daily challenges in life. It is an honour to help them on their journeys.” “Winning this award is an enormous boost to everyone associated with FEAT, particularly to the staff and volunteers who constantly go far beyond the call of duty to achieve life-changing outcomes for the people who inspire us every day.”

“This year we are celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary and what a way to mark it. We hope this award will lead on to even bigger and better things for us and the amazing people we serve.”

Andy Cook, Chief Executive of the Centre for Social Justice think tank, said:

“FEAT innovates new techniques and approaches to solving some of the most pressing issues in the field of mental health. Among these, the inability to find and maintain regular work is paramount.

“The dignity of work and the confidence it instils are crucial to solving mental health problems. The CSJ recognises FEAT’s innovation, efficiency and compassion in helping people find work and rebuild their lives. We wish them another twenty-five years of stellar achievement.”

 About the CSJ Awards

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) exists to prevent and tackle poverty across Britain. The CSJ Awards is an annual, high profile award ceremony that honours the best grassroot, poverty-fighting charities and social enterprises from across Britain.

There are five categories for which prizes are awarded: addiction support and recovery, family support, work and employment, education and social mobility, and crime prevention and rehabilitation.

The five winners each receive a £10,000 grant and are profiled in front of hundreds of leading figures from across the country. This enables them to scale their impact and gives senior politicians, philanthropists and business and charity leaders the chance to be inspired by and learn from them.

It gives award winners unique opportunities to connect with other people passionate about furthering the cause of social justice in Britain.

Kingdom Off Road Motorcycle Club

KORMC recently won an Award the Scottish Sports Awards for best local club of the year. We are looking to build upon this success continuing with our current referral programme. As well as this we are creating an open membership for all off-road motorcycle enthusiasts and developing a wheelchair accessible motorcycle with off-road capabilities. We are in early stages of talks with Fife Council’s Employability Service, to set up Foundations Apprenticeships focusing on basic motorcycle maintenance.  

KORMC are also launching a new off-road motorcycle coaching programme. We are working with Active Schools and focusing on Kirkcaldy in the early part of this year. We want to get children and young people engaged, off their bums and active. Despite what many people think, off-road motorcycling requires a high level of fitness.

Oh, our Administrator won an award at the Fife Business diversity Awards at the end of 2017 too. We were finalists in Kingdom FM’s, Hero Awards, narrowly missing out on a win.

We are determined to continue and improve the good work we do in our community, we are looking to increase and evidence the social impact we have. BRAG, Fife Council and local businesses Dial-a-tow and East Neuk Trials Motorcycles have really helped. In addition to this, funding support from The Young Start Fund, Tesco’s Bags of help, Santander Community Fund, LCPB, Aldi’s Sports Fund and Cash for Kids have made it a great year for us.  

As KORMC continues to grow and develop we are looking to recruit 2 new volunteers on to our Management Board.

  • Director

We have created another exciting opportunity for a Director of Projects. The successful person will have shared responsibility for the planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling of specific projects with KORMC. This position will require an enthusiastic motivated individual, with a desire to succeed. They will liaise with other directors, paid staff and volunteers to ensure smooth project implementation.

  • Treasurer

The treasurer’s primary role is to assist and advise the board in overseeing the finances, even if paid staff deal with much of the day-to-day financial business. Some of the tasks can include:
controlling and accounting for the organisation’s finances, being a counter signatory to any major banking transaction, overseeing bookkeeping, presenting financial reports, raising issues and answering questions at meetings and the AGM,
liaising with the auditors or financial examiners for the annual review of accounts, ensuring statutory returns are made to any relevant regulators.

If you are interested in either of the above voluntary positions please call Dave on 07921857283. Alternatively email


Building a business through building confidence

Dot Coach aims to supercharge the professional development of coaches whilst delivering a positive social impact. They believe that people from all walks of life should have the opportunity to benefit from a professional coach. A social enterprise it reinvest profits into youth training, paid internships and leadership workshops.

Tim Mart, founder of Dot Coach explains that “Through the use of digital technology, Dot Coach provides the opportunity to improve both the coaching ability of professional coaches whilst also making a positive difference to someone who could not normally access this type of service. We knew that there is a large group within the coaching community that wanted to give back and make a difference but could never connect to the right opportunity. Dot Coach is designed to fill the gap.”

Working in partnership with Universities, Colleges, Business Support Agencies and other Social Enterprises their initial project is to focus on supporting young people aged 18-24 who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford the services of a professional coach.

Dot Coach have also built great partnerships which help to deliver their service to a cohort of young adult s that probably hadn’t even heard of professional coaching. The partnership with the University of St Andrews, is to deliver the Professional Skills Curriculum (PSC) programme. Designed to arm students with the skills that will integrate them into the world of work. It is described as a ‘graduate training scheme, before you graduate’. The latest is with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to support young people who need some focused coaching that will help to them set and then achieve their goals.

For more please visit their website :-

Living Solutions -

Fife-based forestry business and social enterprise, Living Solutions (LS) is taking its forestry expertise to the Royal Burgess Golfing Society in Edinburg.

The arborist team (arbs), led by Reece Paterson, has taken tree surgery skills to a new level embracing the challenge of new terrains like golf courses and greens, woodlands, residential areas and path-sides using totally eco-friendly equipment.

The LS arbs team are given a highly-specialised arborist training to climb and work at height as part of their apprenticeship. Reece (21) from Cowdenbeath, a former soldier, joined Living Solutions on an apprentice-ship scheme in 2016. He started retraining to become a forester through the LS Rural Skills apprenticeship scheme and very quickly demonstrated talent as an arborist bringing an enthusiastic and dynamic attitude to the role. He also starred at the Royal Highland Show last year where he scaled a 90-foot pole at speed showing real aptitude for high level work, Reece said: “Moving from the military straight into civilian life was hard at the time – especially finding the right job opportunity and training.

Joining Living Solution has been a real boost especially specialist training in arbs work. I would highly recommend forestry as a future career for any young 16 and 17-year-olds – it has so many interesting aspects to it and being part of the arborist team has given me a lot of confidence. A highlight for me is being able to train other young people and see them make the first steps along their forestry and “arbs” career.

Each year 16 academy students are taken on and trained in power pole pruning, wood chipping, chain saw maintenance and cross cutter skills that employers look out for on a CV. A further 8 waged training opportunities are then available for academy students to progress in to working speed covering chain saw; standard felling and managing wind-blow trees with winch work. And young trainees may be kept on for a further period where they are trained to work ready standard as they complete an apprenticeship.

Living Solutions leader and trainer Paul Cruise, heading up the Rural Skills Academy training course said: “I think word is getting out that forestry is a career for life; a job that can take you around the world. We are seeing lively and enthusiastic apprentices coming through the door that show real passion for forestry and Reece is one of them – he has shown great leadership skills and has been an outstanding participant from the start.”