Summer opening for Fife community hub

It is hoped the hub will open this summer. (Pic: George McLuskie)
It is hoped the hub will open this summer. (Pic: George McLuskie)

A Methilhill charity is hoping to open its new community hub this summer.

The Methilhill Community Children’s Initiative (MCCI) has begun hosting events at Charlie’s Shed ahead of its official opening later this year.

The shed used to be a derelict building but the organisation has worked for over a year to redevelop it into a space that can be used to host events and groups.

The hope is that Charlie’s Shed will be used in a variety of ways for the benefit for the community.

Marianne O’Neill, sessional worker, who is in charge of the redevelopment of the building, desribed the feeling of seeing the refurbished Charlie’s Shed after all the work.

“Coming in and seeing it now, it looks like a useable space,” she said.
“When I started working here it was just a dumping ground.

“But now you can see what it’s meant to be.

“It’s become a home.

“When the kids come in they say ‘wow’.

“Hopefully it is a space we can use to get people off the streets.”

Charlie’s Shed has undergone a lot of work since the group started developing the site last year.

The MCCI received funding from the People’s Project that it used to begin development.

Marianne described the building then as an “empty shell” and told the Mail that it required a new floor, ceiling, walls and windows and that most of this had been achieved through grants and other sources of funding.

The Glenrothes branch of Nationwide donated over £2,000, which was used to install the new flooring, and staff even volunteered their own time to help out.

The group has already begun hosting groups in the shed, including a youth group that runs its own online newspaper, a number of kid’s youth clubs, toddler’s groups, and a number of volunteers who actively work in the community.

Marianne said the MCCI has bigger aspirations for the building.

She said: “The plan is, once we get up and running, to hold more events here.

“We have a kitchen area and throughout the week it could be used as a community cafe.

“We’ll also be able to hold cooking workshops.

“It could also be used for something as simple as giving people shelter and somewhere to eat a bowl of soup.

“We have a vision and now it is about moving that forward.”

The MCCI hope to have an official opening for Charlie’s Shed in the summer, with Marianne describing drainage as the “final hurdle”.

She also noted that the local community has been important in getting the shed to this stage.

“A lot of the stuff inside the shed was donated or upcycled,” Marianne explained.

“For example, the tables came from Buckhaven High School before it closed – we just had to make them a bit more colourful.

“We’ve also got a great relationship with the parents to the point that many are starting to run community groups – one is using the shed to run a knitting class.

“We’ve always got people coming in and helping and volunteering.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to give something back to them.

“It’s about opening this space up and giving the community a space that they can use.”

An open day is being held at Charlie’s Shed at the MCCI, which is next to Methilhill Primary School, on May 17.

The event will run from 1.30-2.30pm and from 6-7.30pm and will give visitors the chance to see the redeveloped building and learn about Our Methilhill, a project in part ran by the MCCI which aims to improve the local area.