Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award

On 12 May 2003 Charis foundation (formerly Fife Christian Counselling Centre) received a letter from the office of Her Majesty the Queen to say that we had won the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award 2003 for services to the community.

The Queen’s representative, the Lord Lieutenant of Fife, said of the service…

‘One of the most precious things that I have been impressed with by this organisation is that they seek excellence – everything is of the highest standard. They trust the Lord to provide the very best and to work through them and he does!

Members are to be congratulated for the high quality of skills they offer so generously for the benefit of others. FCCC beat very stiff opposition to win and I hope this award will give added recognition to those who so generously give of time and energy in the service of others.

Mrs Margaret Dean, Lord Lieutenant of Fife

Early in 1993 we commissioned architect James Bryson to design a building that would communicate our Christian, and counselling, values of safety, respect, hope, peace and a sense of belonging for the end user. James based his design on the answer to two questions he asked: ‘where will your clients come from’ and ‘what kind of problems will you be working with’. He said…

‘I want to use my expertise and experience in working with people to make buildings which serve their functional, spiritual and emotional needs. I want to work with people who want beautiful and sustainable environments.’

In May 1999 it was a great surprise to receive a letter from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland to let us know we had been short listed for one of the Royal Institute of British Architect’s Awards for Architecture. After several visits from judges and a lay assessor we were thrilled to receive a letter from the RIBA Awards Office in London to say we were to receive a RIBA Award for Architecture.

The RIBA Awards judges said of the building:

The reality is the best possible example of the difference between architecture and building… We were spellbound by the interior, with words such as stunning, breathtaking and spiritual being used in our discussions…

If ever a project was needed to demonstrate the power and potential of architecture, this is it. Both the architects and the lay assessor felt that it had redefined for them their understanding of architecture. Literally, it has to be seen to be believed.’

Chairman of the RIBA judges quoted in ‘Scotland on Sunday’ in November 1999…

‘The power and strength overawed all of us. The building really emphasises the positive benefits of progressive architecture. It did not involve large amounts of money and did not involve grandiose schemes.’

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