Charity lunch club launches for support needs families

Nourish Lunch club was visited by David Torrance MSP.
Nourish Lunch club was visited by David Torrance MSP.

A Kirkcaldy family support centre for those living with disability has secured a £1000 grant from Children in Scotland.

Nourish, which is based at the Glebe Park Neighbourhood Centre, will use the money to provide lunches over the summer holidays for children and adults who need additional support.

The centre was founded in 2011 by five parents who felt there was a lack of help for families who had children with additional support needs in the area.

Caroline Haig, vice chairman, said: “We put £10 each into a kitty, bought tea and coffee, and just built from there.

“Through time we have managed to do a bit of fund raising of our own, buy more equipment and toys, and eventually we have been getting small grants here and there.

”Being a small charity we have been trying to do the best we can to get some funding.”

Nourish hosts a selection of different groups throughout the week.

Happy Mondays runs every Monday from 11am–2pm and is for adults aged 16 and over who have additional support needs.

The group provides opportunities for fun and friendship and aims to be inclusive for all needs.

There is also a family drop-in session on Wednesdays from 11am-2pm.

This is for families who have children with additional support needs.

The group brings families together with others in similar circumstances, and is a safe place for families to meet and discuss any problems they may be facing.

The centre also runs a family fun day on the last Sunday of every month with activities for families, and a dads’ group that meets every Thursday evening from 7.45-8.45pm.

David Torrance, Kirkcaldy MSP, is a champion of the centre.

He said: “It has evolved and grown into the group it is now – so far from what it was in the beginning. What it offers to the community out there has changed as well.

“This service is needed and what’s great about it is that it is run by volunteers who have children with disabilities or additional learning needs, so they know what they are dealing with. That is really important.

“It benefits the local community and gives parents somewhere to come to get advice and support, have a chat, and talk over the difficulties they are facing.”

The centre is also trying to raise awareness on the issue of isolation that parents of children with additional needs face.

Caroline said: “It can be very isolating as a parent of a child with disabilities.

“In some cases family members don’t really understand how hard it can be, so you might not be able to get support from friends and family.

“When you first come to a place like Nourish, where there people in the same situation as yourself, who understand what you are going through, can be absolutely life changing.”

Nourish was linked with Children in Scotland through Fife Council’s community development team.

Neil Orr, project manager for food, families and futures with Children in Scotland, said: “We recognise the commitment and the valuable local work that small organisations like Nourish achieves.

“It is vital to finding long- term solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

“We are happy to support it and are grateful to Fife Council for linking us up.”