• Date awarded: December 2023
  • Awarded value: £16,556.45
  • Fund: Small grants
  • Location: Stratheden Hospital, by Cupar
Patient playing a keyboard.

An NHS facility – helping Fife residents with severe and enduring mental illnesses – has been given a boost.

The Dunino Ward at Stratheden Hospital by Cupar has taken delivery of new equipment, aimed at improving patients’ mental health and helping them enhance their life skills. 

The facilities have been funded by grants for more than £16,500 from Fife Health Charity.

A new gym has been set up on the ground floor, complete with treadmill, exercise bike, punchbag and boxing mitts.

Upstairs, rooms have been transformed into:

  • a music area with guitars, keyboards, drum kit and percussion instruments
  • an IT area for patients, with laptops
  • a relaxation area, with eye pillows, massage equipment, blankets and soft furnishings.

The charity funding has also allowed the ward to buy cooking appliances and equipment to help patients make healthy meals. 

The ward’s Occupational Therapist, Susan Love, said: “This has made a massive difference to all the patients that we work with.  The patients are so pleased with all the equipment we’ve been able to get for the ward. When the new musical instruments arrived, the patients got involved in opening the boxes. It was like Christmas Day come early.”

Senior Charge Nurse Nicky McLean said: “Dunino Ward is the only in-patient rehabilitation service in Fife, for adults aged 18 to 65, with severe and enduring mental health issues. 

“The impact of getting all the equipment from the charity grants has been immense.

“We’re able to run a number of groups which the patients wouldn’t normally have had easy access to. 

“For instance, our cooking equipment is being used to help patients make nutritious food, which has an impact on their wellbeing.  It will also help them gain skills they can use when they are discharged from the ward.

“Our new gym is available throughout the day and weekends. It’s well-known that physical activity helps mental health and wellbeing.

“Meanwhile, the musical equipment gives patients a creative outlet. This can lift spirits and distract patients from some of the problems they’re experiencing. 

“The relaxation space and IT areas are also great additions. Some of patients can feel quite overwhelmed and agitated by their conditions and this can help them.”

The Dunino Ward offers specialist care and treatment to patients during an “acute phase” of their mental illnesses. The ward also provides support and encouragement to help patients achieve longer-term goals in their recovery. 

Nicky said: “Our aim is to deliver recovery-focused, person-centred and strength-based care, through a ward programme supported by a multi-disciplinary team.” 

She added: “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supports Fife Health Charity. 

“Your donations helped deliver the grant aid which bought our new equipment. The impact this is having on people’s lives is incredible.”

Fife Health Charity was founded more than 70 years ago and was previously known as the Fife Health Board Endowment Fund.

Charity donations don’t substitute government funding for the NHS but are used to provide grants to support enhanced patient care, staff development and well-being.

You can find examples of some funded projects – and how to help – on the charity’s website. Just search for "Fife Health Charity".

You can also email: fife.healthcharity@nhs.scot


The improvements at Dunino Ward were delivered through five grants from Fife Health Charity.

The grants were as follows:

  • Healthy eating project, £1540
  • Musical activity resource project, £4630
  • Relaxation area, £1000
  • Gym equipment, £7586.45
  • IT equipment, £1800.

Total grant aid was £16,556.45