KIRKCALDY Samaritans are hoping to give their ill-equipped home a new lease of life, and are kicking off a fundraising drive to raise £180,000 to do it.
The St Clair Street branch of the emotional support charity is hoping to improve the look of the building - which has been described as looking like a public toilet before - in the hope it will make it more welcoming to people who need a listening ear.
The 40 volunteers at the centre have agreed on plans that will see a new roof, extension, bigger windows, kitchen and meeting room all put into the building, which is currently inadequate for the Samaritans’ needs.
Volunteer Kay Morrison told the Press the refurbishments are key for the improvement and continued running of the vital services the charity provides.
She said: “We are at a relatively early stage with all of this.
‘’But we have our preferred plan and we know what the building will look like if we can do what we want to do.
‘‘Now it’s about raising the money. Samaritans are not funded by local or national government, so each branch has to raise its own money for everything.
‘‘We are launching the campaign to save now, and we have to raise £180,000.
“It’s a lot of money and we have to be certain it’s what we want to do and for the right reasons - so we can improve facilities and therefore give a better service than we can at the moment.”
The volunteers decided a few months ago they would push forward with fundraising to improve the building after it became clear it is no longer fit for purpose.
Currently, there is not enough space for all of the volunteers to meet at once, or for training to be undertaken within the building, meaning money has to be paid out in order to rent other halls. More so, the volunteers want to make the building more welcoming.
“I’m certain a lot of people don’t even know we are here,” Kay continued.
“The building has been various things over the years, and we’ve heard it being described as a public toilet before.
‘‘Obviously it’s important to change that image in order to be more welcoming and friendly - we don’t want the building to put people off coming in, because although most people contact us by phone, email or text, we also get people coming in to speak to us.
“The Kirkcaldy branch covers a huge area, right up to north east Fife.
‘‘It’s about letting people know we are here and we want to see them.”
l The branch starts fundraising with a pub quiz at the Path Tavern on November 25. All are welcome.
l Anyone who wants to help out with fundraising, put on an event or volunteer should call Kay on 07736333105.