Funding boost for Age Concern Cupar

CUPAR;'Canon Pat McInally at Age Concern with head cook Evelyn Ritchie and asst. cook Barbara Mathers'photo; WALTER NEILSON
CUPAR;'Canon Pat McInally at Age Concern with head cook Evelyn Ritchie and asst. cook Barbara Mathers'photo; WALTER NEILSON

The future of Cupar’s Age Concern charity could be secured if plans to increase its funding by nearly £40,000 a year get the go-ahead.

The organisation, which provides a lifeline to elderly people in the town and surrounding area, stands to benefit from an increase in its current Fife Council award from £23,000 to £62,681 for at least the next two years.

As part of a major review, local authority social work officials have recommended the increase and it’s now up to elected members on the social work and health committee which meets on Tuesday, to rubber-stamp the proposal.

Canon Pat McInally, who formerly chaired the group and who leads the fund-raising committee, said staff and management were delighted that Fife Council had finally recognised the importance of the service it provides.

He said: “For the last 10 years we have been surviving by the skin of our teeth on a grant of less than £25,000 because the council insisted we were a lunch club and not a day care centre.

“Fortunately, the review has shown that we provide a highly valuable service for north east Fife and we hope that councillors will have no hesitation in endorsing the recommendation.

“If Age Concern Cupar did not exist there would be no day care service for elderly people living north of Glenrothes.”

Canon Pat said the extra funding would allow the organisation to be developed and enable more people to tap into services.

“We accommodate around 100-120 individual clients each week, with some people visiting one day a week and some five days,” he said.

“We are a lifeline to many, many people.

“If we get this extra funding we can be realistic about our expectations for the future and expand the service to meet the changing demographic needs of the north east Fife community.”

DESERVING

Welcoming the news, Cupar’s Independent councillor Bryan Poole said: “My understanding is that as part of the comprehensive review of day care services, Fife Council’s social work has concluded that Age Concern Cupar is deserving of an increase in its budget - given the services it provides.

“Age Concern has only been able to sustain the current level of services though the fund-raising efforts of the committee and staff and of course the suport from the wider community.

“The recommendation from social work officials is very welcome increase.

“Given the current financial challenges facing Fife Council this is great news and recognition of the excellent and essential service which Age Concern Cupar provides.”

Councillor Margaret Kennedy, who sits on the committee, said: “I am delighted that finally we have Age Concern Cupar recognised for the immense contribution they make to the care of our elderly population.

“They are now covering a significant geographical area which puts pressure on the service.

“This alteration to their funding will ensure that they have a far greater chance to build on what they already do and further enhance the support to elderly people in the future.”