Holyrood acclaim for Kirk mental health service

Left to right - Maureen Nicol, deputy manager Allan Marshall, Brian Whittle and Debbie Winchester.

A Church of Scotland-run project that supports people with mental health issues in East Ayrshire has been commended in the Scottish Parliament.

Cross-party MSPs have congratulated the work of Morven Day Services in Kilmarnock, run by the Kirk’s social care arm CrossReach, which comprises of five distinct services.

It was lodged by South of Scotland Conservative MSP Brian Whittle who said the work being carried out was “vital” and the Scottish Parliament could learn from third sector organisations.


Liz Twigg, manager of Morven Day Services, said the sentiment behind the motion was “greatly encouraging” and a confidence boost for staff and volunteers.

Mr Whittle recently opened an art exhibition featuring the work of service users at Kilmarnock’s North West Area Centre.

The works on show between October 10-14 demonstrated a range of skills from paintings inspired by famous works of art to felt work, knitting and origami.

Mr Whittle said: “I was delighted to be asked to open Morven Day Services art and crafts show.

“There’s an amazing range of talent on display here and it’s important that we recognise the skill and dedication that all of the service users have put into their pieces.

“The exhibitors should all be really proud of what they’ve achieved here.”

Mr Whittle, whose motion was signed by Tory, Labour and SNP MSPs, said treatment and support for people with mental health issues covers a wide range of disciplines and types.

“Of course there’s a place for medication and psychological intervention but the work that Morven Day Services do - offering a safe, comfortable space where users can meet other people, build their confidence and explore their individual talents -is both vital and undervalued,” he added.

“The work on show here today proves that.

“When it comes to helping people with mental health issues, there’s a lot that the Scottish Parliament can learn from third sector organisations like Morven Day Services.”

Greatly encouraging

The art exhibition was organised by service users/volunteers Maureen Nicol and Debbie Winchester, who were supported by staff.

Ms Twigg said: "To have Morven Day Services recognised and commended within parliament is, in itself, an achievement.

“Acknowledgement of this innovative and quality-commended service is greatly encouraging to services such as Morven Day Services and keeps us focussed on supporting people with mental health issues.

“They and staff, alike, are boosted by the confidence shown by Brian Whittle, MSP, and we look forward to collaborating with East Ayrshire Health and Social Care partnership to improve even further."