FCE is working in partnership to help make Fife a more inclusive place to live, work and/or study and we feel its important we understand that people are individuals and everyone is different.
This page is a place where individual voices and experiences can be heard and shared through individual testimonies, personal stories, case studies, video and other forms of media.
This should provide people with the opportunity to appreciate and understand how diverse people are by making a wide range of voices heard.
If you have a story to tell about you or your community and would like to contribute to a message that champions equality, diversity, inclusion and social justice,contact us.
Winter: the Coldest Season
This project from Mike Delaitre – a local singer/songwriter, musician and video story-maker will be a short film which will explore through interviews with individuals and families, who have come to live in Fife from different countries and cultures, a series of questions and answers on experiences of the winter months. Find out a bit more about the project in the video below:
To get involved contact Mike with the details below:
Volunteering at the community café one year on
Case Study – Michael
I began volunteering with the Community Café August 2016, having come along first when the café started in April 2016 just to enjoy the food and meet people. Within 3 months I started to volunteer with the Café. I helped lay tables, serve food and helped with the washing up.
Because of a back injury I had been out of work for years, I weighed 23 and a half stone and I couldn’t bend. I spent most of the time playing computer games. I was isolated and depressed and just felt worthless.
I lost all confidence and didn’t want to mix with people or go out. This was not helped by the fact that I was living in inappropriate housing that I could not clean or afford.
At first I just came to the café every week and enjoyed the soup, stovies and home bakes although I came just as much for the company. It was good to get a home cooked meal in company and I could afford this because it was pay what you could afford, so I didn’t have to worry about having enough money.
I really enjoyed the banter and I could see they needed volunteers to help. At the café there are also people to give advice and information to help you and I found out about another volunteer opportunity with Real Living in Rosyth at the social café for older people so I volunteer as a befriender there now too. I really enjoy it.
I have made new friends through the Community Cafe. One thing has just led to another and now I feel proud that I am giving back to the community and I have lost 9 stone in weight. Being able to get the right advice and information also helped, I have now moved to a smaller house that I can afford to run, I feel more positive, I can now give people advice about where to go to get help, I now have friends and am learning new skills. It’s a great feeling when you feel you have helped someone or when you are working as part of a team to do something. Everyone is friendly and we have a good laugh. – Dec 2017
Living with HIV in 2017 – Case study
“When I was diagnosed HIV positive in November 2010 my initial feelings were of being numb, of feeling I had HIV positive written across my head and that everyone knew I was dirty. I cried myself to sleep.
I needed to tell someone and that’s what I did the following day, I called my best friend David and told him, he was upset but I felt supported.
I started my HIV medication very soon after my diagnosis and I remember I had really vivid dreams and for the first couple of weeks taking them I felt spaced out. This passed and my thoughts of continually thinking the words HIV positive slipped and I began to forgive myself and not feel guilty that I had done something wrong.
I felt lucky that I started working for Terrence Higgins Trust as a Health Promotion Specialist supporting other people who were living with HIV and also talking to people about looking after their sexual health and making the correct decisions about condom use, HIV and STI testing.
I felt though that as much I was supporting others that I was not being supported myself and so I started to look around for other organisations where I could feel support and learn more about me.
I found an advocacy service called UK-CAB, it’s a network of over 850 community treatment advocates from around the UK.
I was invited to attend training about HIV advocacy, and on HIV treatment and how to represent yourself and others at NHS and Pharmaceutical meetings.
I became very aware of what being an HIV Advocate is. It’s being a voice for yourself and others and shaping what our future will look like.
I also took part in HIV Scotland training on how to tell your HIV story. And sat on the HIV Scotland Positive Persons Forum for three years organising the largest gatherings of HIV Positive people living in Scotland.
I have also successfully applied to be on groups such as the BASHH (British Association of Sexual Health and HIV) working group for men who have sex with men.
Through this work we produced a U.K. Guide booklet titled Buying PrEP online.
We are lucky in Scotland to have PrEP available as a tool to reduce HIV transmissions amongst high risk groups. We are the only country in the U.K. to prescribe PrEP for free and now we have successfully been able to supply Generic PrEP into Scotland to reduce costs. Again, Scotland is the only country which supplies this generic drug.
I’m 52 years old on the 5th December, I’m now in the category of being amongst a generation of people living with HIV which is reaching old age and living well with their HIV.
My life expectancy is the same as anyone else out there as long as I take my HIV medication.
I have an undetectable viral load which means I cannot sexually pass my HIV to anyone else.
The U equals U campaign (undetectable equals untransmittable) is a worldwide campaign to promote that if you are on effective Anti-Retroviral Therapy the risk of passing HIV is negligible to the point of Zero.
Terrence Higgins Trust have another campaign called Can’t Pass it On which promotes the same response as the U equals U campaign.
So it’s November 2017, it’s 7 years after my HIV diagnosis. How do I feel? I feel as well and as happy and contented as anyone else you pass in the street.
I’m a normal human being getting on with their life but also supporting those who have not yet found their HIV Advocacy voice. I’m a trustee of an HIV charity called HWUPENYU which supports the black minority ethnic groups living in Scotland. I like to give back, I suppose giving is my new support network.”
Fife Pride 2017- Transgender Fife
Prior to the Pride event, our group was in the developmental phase. Our involvement in Fife Pride event certainly galvanised us as a team and gave us something to focus on. What would our stall look like? Would we be worthy of our inclusion? Would people accept us on the day? We had lots of doubts to deal with and overcome just too even get to the day itself.
On the day we had a team of five who covered our stall and our safe space on a rota basis. This worked well and ensured that no one person was left isolated at any one time.
Although it was not our intention at the outset, we did manage to raise some funds form our group through the sale of Pride bracelets,
The day was a huge success for us. Since Pride our group has secured Venues for our meetings in both Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy. We have held two meetings and feel that we are now established as a safe place for the Transgender community in Fife.
Without Pride I would say that it’s possible that we would not have formed fully into the safe secure meeting place/space that we now offer. Pride has empowered us and given us a feeling of belonging to a larger movement.
FCE Modern Families Conference 2016 Human Library: Sylvia’s Story
Short video of human library workshop at the Modern Families Conference 2016. Sylvia talks about the importance for disabled people to be involved in decisions concerning them, as per the UN motto of ‘Nothing about us without us’.
(produced in partnership/collaboration)
Fife Pride 2017 – Besides the Norm Podcast
This short film created by Besides the Norm Podcast is a collection of footage from the fantastic, Fife Pride event in July, featuring intervews from a variety of attendees and also coverage of the march and the exciting acts and performers that took part in the afternoon.
Beside The Norm Podcast: Diversity Week Fife 2017
Besides The Norm Podcast was live on Tuesday 15 August with Nina Munday and Lewis Bainbridge. Check it out on Facebook here.
Queer Kingdom – Pink Saltire
Queer Kingdom follows the real life stories of Fifers who grow up lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual. Rural communities can often feel like very isolating and lonely places for LGBT+ people, and very different to life in the big cities. This short film portrays the personal stories of Fifers, which are likely to be replicated experiences right across Scotland.
Fèill Fhìobha 2016 – Fife Gaelic Development Group
Fèill Fhiobha is an annual Scots Gaelic Festival celebrates all things Scottish bringing together, workshops and activities from both Scots and Gaelic speaking communities across the East of Scotland to celebrate .
The Fèill/Festival is for families and aims to celebrate many parts of Scottish culture. Listen to traditional, and contemporary Scottish music, learn a bit about the languages, try your hand at sports, and indulge in Scottish History.