New Kirkcaldy drop-in centre to combat rising poverty

From left, Linda Stewart, Gordon Brown MP,  Pat Hanson , Judy Hamilton , Archie Young, George Kay
From left, Linda Stewart, Gordon Brown MP, Pat Hanson , Judy Hamilton , Archie Young, George Kay

The launch of a new drop in centre in Kirkcaldy to help combat rising poverty in the town has been welcomed.

The facility, run by the charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) in partnership with Whytecauseway Baptist Church, opened last week at the town church.

The drop in centre will open its doors every Thursday from 11.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. for people in need or people who want to use the facility. It also features a cafe which will serve meals to people at a low cost. The centre will offer help to those who are filling in forms and making phone calls looking for jobs. An adviser will also be available to answer people’s problems.

Pat Hanson, centre manager at the Burntisland-based branch of Christians Against Poverty, which helps those in financial crisis, told The Press: “We wanted to open a drop-in facility in Kirkcaldy to give us a presence there.

“As I visit clients in their own homes, there isn’t a physical place for people to go to find out about CAP.

“Linda McIver from Whytecauseway Baptist Church had seen an article about our group in the Fife Free Press and thought perhaps CAP could give their drop-in a new focus. That was back in the summer, and we’re finally ready to go.

“CAP clients can drop in and enjoy soup and a sandwich, or coffee and cake, and get help with form filling and phone calls to chase up paperwork. It also gives people somewhere to go to get more information about CAP. It is open to everyone.’’

She added: “It gives us a chance to reach out to more people and make them aware of the potentially life changing service we offer.

‘‘The launch went really well - it was great to have Gordon Brown MP and Cllrs George Kay and Judy Hamilton present to offer their support.”

Mr Brown welcomed the new centre, adding: “This new drop in centre is the latest innovation in Kirkcaldy in an escalation of amenities needed by the poorest members of the community because of benefit cuts.

‘‘This is a much needed innovation offering help and support for people who want food at reasonable prices and need friendship, advice and support. I wish the facility well.”