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Jim Leishman

Endorsement from Jim Leishman MBE (Provost of Fife)

"I am delighted to learn that Fife has been chosen for this new support scheme for older people. We need ambitious ventures like this that will benefit some of the most vulnerable people in our local communities".

 You can read more about the project below. Please click on the following links for information about:

Our project

Our recovery project is an innovative means of supporting victims of elder abuse to recover from the abuse they have experienced, and develop the skills and confidence to stay safe in the future.

The project is a structured one-to-one support service which matches victims of elder abuse with specially selected 'peer' volunteers to support them in their recovery. Volunteers could be someone who has experienced abuse themselves, someone of a similar age, or someone with similar interests. The key factor is that the older person is matched with someone they feel comfortable with, supporting them in an informal, supportive and non-threatening environment.

While this project includes an element of befriending, it goes much further by focusing on recovery, building resilience and self-recovery, and enabling older people to regain their independence and re-integrate into their local community. It therefore includes defined milestones to allow clients to move on and no longer require the support of the volunteer.

We've recently received funding to develop our first Elder Abuse Recovery Project in Fife, with the intention of rolling it out across other parts of Scotland in due course. 

Some of our Project volunteers and staff after completing their training

Picture of older and lady with arms round each other

Who can take part?

Older people meeting the following criteria can participate:

  • aged 55 or over and living in Fife
  • have capacity to consent to participation in the project
  • have experienced some form of harm or abuse that has had a significant impact on their lives

It is not necessary for the client to have reported the harm/abuse to social work or the police to be able to participate in the project.

Benefits of the project

Historically there has been a limited focus on the long term impact elder abuse has upon victims. The focus of statutory support has been to remove the victim from the abusive situation and ensure their safety. However, many victims are left emotionally and psychologically traumatised, and a recent study found that 76% of elder abuse survivors suffer from serious emotional and social side-effects. These people need support to help them recover, and this type of support is not currently provided by statutory or third sector agencies. Our project addresses this gap and facilitates survivors’ journeys towards full recovery.

Those who will benefit from the project include:

  • Victims of abuse whose health and well-being will be improved. Clients will:

    • reach full recovery from the emotional and psychological effects of abuse

    • regain their independence, confidence and reintegrate into their local community

    • gain the the tools and capabilities to protect themselves in the future 

  • A reduction in reliance on health and social care services by victims;

  • Cost savings will accrue to existing local services where the need for adult safeguarding has been prevented;

  • The Police, NHS and other care professionals will have a cost effective referral service that they can use to help and support victims.

Picture of elder abuse recovery client

Our Project Coordinator, Ian, promoting the project on K107 FM in Kirkcaldy

What's involved?

The project will match specially trained volunteers with recent victims of elder abuse, working with them in both one-to-one and group situation basis for a maximum of 12 months. The support can be provided in the older person's own home, community centres, residential homes or other settings (including over the phone) according to their individual needs. Support will be tailored for each client, but may include:

  • befriending and one-to-one support (either over the phone or face-to-face, in or both depending on how the client progresses)
  • activity-based support, e.g. the client and volunteer taking part in clubs, groups, hobbies or therapeutic activities together
  • advocacy, e.g. empowering clients to speak up and call for improvements to the support framework for victims of elder abuse.

We'll work to engage the older person with their local community as much as possible, encouraging them to take part in the things they used to do, as well as introducing them to new activities and social groups.

Find out more

If you'd like to find out more about the project, please contact Ian Sloan, Recovery Project Coordinator:

Tel: 0746 473 157  E-mail: [email protected] 

As this project is free to older people, we're always looking for help with the ongoing costs. If you'd like to donate to the project, please click on the button below.

Donate to the project here