More cash to help folk in real hardship

Pauline Buchan
Pauline Buchan

Help is being made available for more vulnerable families in the Gallatown area thanks to extra funding secured by the Cottage Family Centre.

The Cottage, which helps families in the Templehall area, has seen such a rise in requests for the services it offers that it has taken on extra staff to enable it to do more work in Gallatown.

It is one of the areas of highest deprivation in a recent study.

And staff are hopeful that in future they will be able to offer even more help to those most in need.

Pauline Buchan, service manager at the Cottage explained: “We had a visit from the Scottish Urban Regeneration Fund looking at the work we are doing in Templehall and the difference it is making to the local community.

“When the deprivation report was published, more people from the Gallatown area were being referred to us, and there was a waiting list for places.

‘‘But a lot of families don’t have transport to get to the centre which takes two buses.

‘‘We had a meeting with Fife Council and explained the situation, and through the Early Years Funding we obtained some money to take on extra staff including family workers who can go out and offer them support in their own homes or transport them back and forward to the centre.

“We only got the money at the beginning of September, but we are already helping 13 vulnerable families in the area, which illustrates just how dire the need is here.

‘‘We only expecting that to rise.

“All the families are referred to us through social work, health visitors and housing services, and we already have a waiting list in Templehall, so we are going to be very busy.”

Marilyn Livingstone, chairman of the Cottage’s voluntary management committee, added: “The demand on our services is huge and we have a short term waiting list for families needing our help, including in the Gallatown where there is very little provision, so that is why we have taken on these extra workers.

“The recent changes to the benefits system is not helping and we are trying to do the best we can to help those who are in most dire need of the services we offer, helping families with young children to cope with a whole range of issues.”

On top of the money the Cottage received from the Early Years Fund, it has also secured another £60,000 from the RS McDonald Trust which will help fund another children’s therapeutic worker for its counselling services and continue its Cottage Club teatime sessions for youngsters aged three to five years.