Grant support from the Falkirk Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund will help Forth Valley College staff to work with a group of patients at Bellsdyke Hospital to confidently access the digital world.
The country wide Scottish Government fund is being managed locally by Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs), which means CVS Falkirk are managing the fund in this area. The College was recently awarded funding of £9,626 to run a new project entitled ‘Click with Confidence’ at the Larbert facility.
It will work in partnership with Bellsdyke Hospital staff over six months, starting from April this year, and will aim to work with 10 individuals who have longer term and complex mental health issues, with an overall aim to support them as they learn basic and essential digital and Core Skills.
The FVC team is being led by Department of Business and Communities Curriculum Managers Lucy Hawkins and Stephen Grainger and lecturers Anne Reid and McLean McIntosh. The Bellsdyke team includes: Amanda Ramsay Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist, Siobhan Duncan Deputy Charge Nurse and Elaine Johnston Occupational Therapy Technical Instructor.
Pauline Jackson, FVC Development and Fundraising Manager, said: “This new partnership project will promote opportunities to progress with further learning, employment and volunteering, supporting the transition from hospital care. The pandemic had a huge impact on this group as they were unable to use technology in a meaningful way in terms of contact with friends and family. It will also help to reduce feelings of isolation and exclusion – increasing resilience and ability to use digital technology for everyday life.”
Stephen Grainger, FVC Curriculum Manager in the Department of Business and Communities, said: “We are delighted to be involved in providing the training for this exciting and extremely worthwhile project. We are confident the results will be very positive and we also understand there will also be some volunteering opportunities for Forth Valley College students to support the programme delivery – changing perceptions of mental health.”
Amanda Ramsay, Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist, at Bellsdyke Hospital, said: “We are excited to work with Forth Valley College to offer patients the opportunity to build their digital confidence and skills. As Occupational Therapists our main goal is to promote independence and wellbeing. Central to this is supporting patients to set goals that are meaningful to them and offer a sense of purpose. A number of patients have identified goals to improve their digital abilities and engage in learning activities in order to develop skills and provide greater opportunities for their future. Improved digital skills will also allow for better participation in activities of daily living including socialisation and community functioning. This partnership project between Bellsdyke Hospital and Forth Valley College will promote social inclusion and recovery, whilst offering learning activities that will increase access to vocational and employability opportunities in the future.”
Victoria McRae, Chief Executive Officer, CVS Falkirk, said: “We’re really pleased that the Falkirk Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund has been able to support this project – this is a fantastic example of the difference partnership working can make to people’s lives, which is exactly what the fund was designed to do.
“As we all know, technology has become an essential part of many lives, thanks to the pandemic – when we couldn’t see our loved ones – digital tools like video calls and social media bridged the gap, and so many of us would have been lost without it. It’s wonderful to see this project come together to support people who didn’t have that option, so that they won’t be in that position again.”