Cottage Centre offering help to more families

Parents and children with family workers Christina McKenzie and Lana Moffat and children's worker Dawn Muir. Pic: FPA
Parents and children with family workers Christina McKenzie and Lana Moffat and children's worker Dawn Muir. Pic: FPA

A move to bigger premises in Gallatown is enabling the Cottage Centre to provide more help for vulnerable families.

The Cottage began expanding its outreach services into the area nine months ago, after families it was helping from its Templehall premises said they were finding it difficult to get there on public transport.

And just a few weeks ago, the service, which formerly operated from the Arabic Society Hall, relocated the three afternoon sessions it runs from Gallatown to Viewforth Parish Church hall.

The move gave it extra space to welcome more adults along to its craft sessions, and parents and children to its art and play sessions.

“We were finding the hall was getting too small and we started looking around to see what else was available in the area and the church hall was suggested,” said Kelly Nicol, senior family worker at the Cottage, who oversees the Gallatown projects.

“As we are getting about six children and adults along to each of our Wednesday and Thursday sessions and hoping to get more as word of mouth spreads, this was ideal for our needs.”

The Cottage currently runs a Craft for Adults sessions on Tuesdays, a Let’s Play Together parent and child group on Wednesdays and Adventures in Artland group on Thursdays, all from 1.00-3.00 p.m.

The groups are run by family and children’s workers and, as well as encouraging social interaction and friendship, they aim to build self-esteem and confidence in the adults and children alike.

They are open to anyone with children up to five years-old and, unlike the Templehall groups, where families have to be referred, people can just go along and see for themselves what the group can offer them.

Anyone experiencing family-related difficulties can speak to one of the family or children’s workers for advice and support.

There are currently four staff covering the Gallatown area: Christina McKenzie and Lana Moffat, family workers, and Dawn Muir and Gillian Gray, children’s workers.

“Their hours are split between Templehall and the Gallatown but we try to have the same workers there each week so people can see the same faces when they go along,” added Kelly.

“We are hoping that, as word gets around about the groups, our numbers will increase and we can expand our services.”

Some of the craft work will be on sale at a Christmas Fair on December 17 from 1.00-3.00 p.m. in Viewforth Church hall.