£50K of funding for new cafe and skills project in Methilhill

The kids at outdoor youth club will benefit from the new facilties thanks to the cash. Pic by George McLuskie.
The kids at outdoor youth club will benefit from the new facilties thanks to the cash. Pic by George McLuskie.

Methilhill Community Children’s Initiative are celebrating yet more success after being declared a winner in the People’s Projects.

Their success, thanks to the votes of local people, means they will be awarded £50,000 of funding which they will use to transform their new building, and also to start a brand new skills project for teens.

This is just the latest in a series of triumphs for the project, which only started in 2012. Thanks to a grant from the Coalfields Regneration Trust, they were able to construct the new ‘Charlie’s Shed’ building on their site on Sea Road, Methilhill, as well as install new pathways, ramps and walled areas.

Now, this cash will be used to kit out the shed with facilities, including a kitchen, which can then be used as part of 12-week skills building courses for young people who are disengaged at school .

‘Charlie’s Shed will be used as a functioning café to allow the youngsters to work towards recognised qualifications and awards and will also allow the development of garden groups for the youngsters to learn about composting and cooking what they have grown.

Staff and volunteers at MCCI are over the moon at having been declared a winner in the STV and Big Lottery-led project, and thanked locals for their support.

“We just have to say a massive, massive thanks to everyone who voted. The support has been overwhelming and this is going to change these kids lives,” said Mandy Gerrard.

“All of the kids have been so excited by all the changes, and loved seeing the shed go up and the pathways. Buckhaven Building Supplies and Aberhill Joiners have been such a help with that too, and even let the kids have a go.”

Mandy and colleague Laura Lawson explained that as well as offering the course, which will be aimed at teens aged around 14 to 18, the kitchen will allow them to work with their kids on cooking skills, providing that ‘missing link’ between the food they grow in the garden and the healthy meals they can create with it.

They also hope to have the facilities in by August so that they can offer a lunch-time cafe to locals, and school kids, a few days a week.

“We want them to come here, instead of getting chips and cheese, and something healthy and they will actually know where its come from,” said Laura.

David Torrance MSP commended the group for their hard work and wished them success in the future.