A new club starting up in Buckhaven next week aims to reduce isolation and bring friendship back to the fore in the town.
The aptly named ‘Friendship Club’ will meet every week at Buckhaven Community Centre and is the brainchild of loc,al baptist minister Peter Carr.
Along with Dave Henderson and Ann Grigg, he looks forward to welcoming people of ages and backgrounds.
“This group will be for the whole of the community,’’ he said.
‘‘ There are people who are isolated, lonely and vulnerable, for whatever reason.
“So we think we need to reach out tho them, so they can feel some human compassion and love and friendship - and maybe help them realise their potential.”
The group has the full support of Buckhaven Community Centre staff, including vicechairman, Liz Brannan.
“There’s a definite need for this club,” she said. “We have someone who runs a writing club, and he says they spend more time talking than writing.
“Some people find it hard to speak to folk, and sometimes all you need is someone to talk to.”
When thinking about starting the group, Peter said he was struck by the change in society over recent years.
“In society as a whole, and down to local communities, there seems to be less and less compassion around. People are very driven about what they need to do for themselves, but maybe we need to foster more of a sense of community.”
He added: “There seems to be a general fragmentation going on in society and as that happens, people become more and more isolated, but we are born to be in relationships.”
The organisers hope to welcome those of all ages, and all backgrounds, and Peter said they can all relate to someone who has had problems.
“There was a time in my life where I wasn’t in a great place because of alcohol, and I dubbed myself’Peter-NaePals’ because I had become so isolated and so cut off from people - so there is an understanding.
‘‘We’ve been there ourselves and we can make ourselves available.”
Although the first group takes place next week, the form of each hour-long session is not set in stone. Peter and Dave are keen to see what those attending would like to do.
“It will be very much taking as it comes,” said Peter. “and finding out what the interests are of those who will be coming.”
Dave added: “We’ll have to establish the kind of need there is. Each week when we meet up, we’ll have a chat and develop it from there. So some people like to do walking, some like cards, some like art, writing, or cooking.”