An innovative project aimed at helping families in Levenmouth is to continue for a third and final year thanks to local funding.
The Gateway Project has received funding of £20,000 from the Levenmouth area committee. But councillors have voiced their concerns about the possible loss of the service following the end of its funding in January 2016.
The Gateway was one of a number of similar projects across the UK which received just under £1 million of funding from the Big Lottery.
It is led by Fife Gingerbread - with support from Fife Council, Barnardo’s, Fife College and FVA - and provides tailored, joined up early intervention and support for families, before the point of crisis.
Since it started, 383 families have engaged with the project and this involves 683 children. Over phase two, they are already on target to engage and support the projected number of 500 families, and hope to implement a new food project and family homework club.
At the area committee meeting, councillors voiced their overwhelming support for the project, but aired concerns that the hard work and momentum of those involved would be lost when funding came to an end.
Cllr David Alexander said: “This project is magnificent, but the question is, can we get the same amount of money to sustain it - what happens after year three?”
His comments were echoed by Cllr Andrew Rodger who said: “When you have a project like this, you have to work out how to make it mainstream and sustainable. It would be a dis-service to the people who have put their faith in this service if it came to the end of the third year and this all broke apart.”
Cllr Tom Adams added: “If this was to just fall off a cliff, it would be a huge blow to the area. Hopefully people are working right now to maintin the funding for the future as I hope it can continue.”
Rhona Cunningham from Fife Gingerbread said: “The project owes its success to the collaborative work with organisations across the area and because of this the project has become embeded in the Levenmouth area and the staff team are now ‘well kent’ faces in the local area. The various strands of the project are now beginning to demonstrate the synergy of collaboration and a culture of cohesiveness is now becoming the norm.” Next year, the Gateway aims to offer a bespoke programme of activity to families to raise confidence and self belief.