Helping families to deal with mental health issues will be one of the main projects supported by the latest fundraising drive of a Kirkcaldy family centre.
The Cottage Family Centre, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, has launched a drive to raise £24,000 by April 26, having already raised £26,000 of its £50,000 target in just a few months.
The funding will be used to employ two therapeutic workers to help deal with the huge increase in the number of mothers and children being referred for help with family problems exacerbated by mental health problems.
The fundraising drive, supported by Gordon Brown, former PM and Kirkcaldy MP, will also help to fund a new ‘extended family’ project where grandparents, aunts and uncles can use their child-rearing experience to help families struggling to cope.
The initiative will also encourage retired people who have raised their own children to share their skills in things like parenting, sewing, cooking and budgeting with families who may not have their own extended family support.
In December, after being shocked by the poverty they were seeing, the centre launched an appeal for £50,000.
Pauline Buchan, service manager, said: “Mental health is still a taboo subject, yet its effects are crippling not only to the individual, but also to their family, friends and the wider society.
“We now have at least three children from all walks of life in every classroom in crisis due to their mental health. It is the responsibility of all of us to support these children and families and show that we care.”
Marilyn Livingstone, chairman, added: “If we can raise this money we will be able to support families at an early stage before things get intolerable, leading to more complex and deep-rooted problems.”
Mr Brown said: “I’m making this plea for funds to businesses and local people because The Cottage needs to attract therapeutic counsellors to deal with an upsurge in mental health problems among parents, children and teenagers who cannot get NHS appointments even when in urgent need.
“Pauline and her team do a magnificent job but some of the problems they are now encountering require more specialised support.”