Singing star Barbara Dickson helps celebrate 25 years of pioneering mental health service

Singer Barbara Dickson meets Gary Morris at Barony’s Contact Point service in Buckhaven

Singer Barbara Dickson meets Gary Morris at Barony’s Contact Point service in Buckhaven

Scottish singing star Barbara Dickson has hailed a pioneering mental health service in her native Fife as she helped celebrate its 25th anniversary.

The singer, whose hits include ‘I Know Him So Well’, ‘January, February’ and ‘Another Suitcase In Another Hall’, visited Barony Housing Association’s Contact Point centre in Buckhaven for a birthday party to celebrate a quarter-century of the service in Fife.

The drop-in wellbeing services, run by Barony, part of Wheatley Group, have offered social and practical support to vulnerable people with mental health issues since 1992.

Barbara, who grew up in Dunfermline and went on to conquer the musical world, took part in a music class at the Contact Point centre in Buckhaven, listened to performances by musicians who use the service, and took to the stage to wow the crowd with a performance of the traditional Scottish song, ‘Willie Wee The Railway Porter’.

She was also presented with an original artwork created in the centre’s art room.

Barbara Dickson performs with (from left) Ernie Tolley, PC Blues, Bob Roberts, Ian McMonigle and service manager Billy Moyes

Barbara Dickson performs with (from left) Ernie Tolley, PC Blues, Bob Roberts, Ian McMonigle and service manager Billy Moyes

Barbara said: “It is lovely to be here. Even though I didn’t know very much about the work done here when I arrived, I left feeling like I knew everyone very well.

“It is a wonderful place. It is very positive and everyone is uplifted by being here. It has been a privilege to be here.”

Contact Point provides emotional support, advice and signposting to people over 18 who experience mental ill health, or who feel vulnerable or isolated in their day-to-day lives.

Gary Morris, who uses the centre, said: “I’m a huge fan of Barbara and have bought her records since I was young. It was really special to meet her and sing in front of her.

“I enjoy taking part in the music group here. Music brings me joy and lifts my spirits. I feel great when I sing”.

Barbara cuts the birthday cake to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Barony’s Contact Point service in Fife

Barbara cuts the birthday cake to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Barony’s Contact Point service in Fife

Barony’s managing director, Cathy Fallon, said: “Contact Point is an incredible service with a proud history of providing innovative care and support that is focused on what individuals need.

“The music group is just one way that we have helped people discover new talents, make new friends, or simply have a good time.

“It’s fantastic to celebrate 25 years and I look forward to seeing what more we can do in the next 25 years.”