£435,000 lottery windfall for Kirkcaldy school

Fair Isle Primary celebrates its lottery grant
Fair Isle Primary celebrates its lottery grant

Fair Isle Primary School in Kirkcaldy is celebrating a huge lottery win this week after being awarded another five years of funding.

It is very rare for projects to receive follow-on awards in this way.

But Big Lottery representative John Fellows told the school that it had agreed the further investment of £435,502 because of the exceptional impact it has already helped to achieve in the Templehall community.

Five years ago the school, with help from many outside agencies launched an ambitious programme aimed at helping to support families in the disadvantaged catchment area.

With everything from breakfast and homework clubs to adult education programmes, mental health awareness sessions, adult and children’s classes, after school activities and much more, the programme, helped by the Big Lottery funding, was designed to help improve the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of families.

At the re-launch this week, guest speaker Sir Harry Burns, Scotland’s chief medical officer, praised the work of the project as he recalled his own childhood at his parents house in Valley Garden South, not far from the school.

He highlighted how important it is to have positive early years experiences to prepare young people for the challenges of adulthood and praised the school head teacher Rae Walker, as an inspirational leader helping to change people’s lives for the better.

Mrs Walker credited the success of the project to everyone working with the school, from NHS Fife, Fife Council, Fife College, SAMH, The Cottage Centre, the YMCA and many more.

“This is not just a school or a project, this is a family which acts appropriately to support each other and provides opportunities for learning not just for the children but the extended family,” she said.

“I am really excited at the prospect of another five years of funding this work and want to thank everyone who helped make the bid and the awards panel who saw this as worth the investment.”

Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee and ward councillor, said the award celebrated all that is good about education.

“The project covers a multitude of challenges with a family focus and a sharing of responsibilities for the young people and wider family around Templehall.

“There is no single golden bullet which makes this a success but a combination of finding ways to grow stronger through mutual respect, nurturing and engagement.

‘‘Our challenge is to ensure the legacy of this work is sustained beyond the end of 2018 in Templehall and to continue to find ways of introducing the lessons learned to the wider Fife Education Service.”