New Kirkcaldy cafe project helps tackle mental health

The cafes are helping people learn new skills
The cafes are helping people learn new skills

A new pilot project to help people improve their mental health and learn new skills has started up in Kirkcaldy.

Kirkcaldy YMCA is running Talking Cafes at venues in the town to encourage people to discuss problems and make friends over a cuppa.

And it is hoping that, with mental health services stretched to the limit, it could help some people without the need for extra intervention.

Six cafes have been set up in three different venues over the past month or so.

Two are in the YMCA in Valley Gardens, two in the Clued-Up premises at 441 High Street and two in the former Happy Days hub on St Clair Street. They have been funded through Delivering Differently until February.

Jo Cairns, Talking Cafe’s development worker who helped set up the initiative, explained: “We have a wide range of people attending the cafes and they can drop in at any time. We can have anything from 5-20 people at any of the venues.

“People come to chat about lots of things from employment and socialising to self-esteem, mental health, friendships, relationships, housing and money.

“We have run 25 cafes so far with two or three of our volunteers at each. So far there have been 186 attendances with an average of seven people at each café. People who come along say they feel more confident, less lonely, more listened to and more able to cope with day to day living as a result of taking part, and they say that the cafés have also given them new ideas for things they’d like to do in the future.

“We also offer transferrable skills, so people can learn about communication, food preparation and hygiene, first aid, money handling and basic maths.”

For information contact Jo on (01592) 645530.