Kirkcaldy family centre shortlisted for prestigious diversity award

The Cottage Family Centre has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

By Darren Gibb
Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 4:30 pm

It is up for the community organisation award at The National Diversity Awards 2021 in recognition of its unwavering support of the community.

After being nominated in May, the frontline Kirkcaldy charity has made it to the next stage of the awards by being shortlisted alongside seven other noteworthy UK organisations.

The centre, which has been in the town since 1987, provides support to some of the most vulnerable children and families across Kirkcaldy.

The Cottage Centre manager, Pauline Buchan. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

It continued not only its support services during the pandemic but also provided a lifeline and practical support on a daily basis to those most in need.

The National Diversity Awards aims to recognise charities, campaigners and activists, all of whom work tirelessly to combat injustice and discrimination in their communities as well as their dedication to equality, diversity and inclusion.

The Cottage Centre, Pauline with her team of dedicated staff. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

News of more recognition has been warmly welcomed by the centre.

Pauline Buchan, centre manager, said: “For our wee organisation to be shortlisted from over 50,000 nominations and votes across the UK is a tremendous achievement - one we were certainly not expecting.

"It is testament to all of us collectively for the hard work and dedication to the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.

"We are absolutely over the moon but in complete shock as we didn’t for a second expect to be nominated, never mind shortlisted."

Throughout the pandemic Pauline and her team have worked tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable families in Kirkcaldy and the surrounding areas had adequate support.

She said: "The Cottage has remained open throughout, providing our support services to families and have worked alongside many organisations to ensure children and families practical needs were met from the outset.

"Our services have had to adapt and change throughout the pandemic particularly during the lockdown periods to ensure we kept our staff and families safe.”

Pauline said that the ongoing pandemic has brought extra hardships to families who were already struggling to make ends meet.

"It has tipped the scales for those families who were ‘just managing’ financially, and it has overwhelmed those who were already living in significant hardship,” she said.

"It has been, and continues to be, absolutely horrendous for families in Kirkcaldy and elsewhere. We don’t need the poverty statistics to see that.

"The families we support are often presented with multiple challenges and have more often experienced traumatic events within their lives.

"We have also seen a significant rise in the number of children with developmental delay, increases in cases of domestic abuse as well as cases of sexual abuse and a significant increase in parents and children experiencing mental health issues.”

Pauline said that without the support from the community, The Cottage would not be able to make so many positive changes.

“I want to send our sincere thanks to everyone who supports us because without each of you we could not be able to provide the care and support or make the real differences we do for our children and families across our communities every day,” she added.

"It is only ever by working together that meaningful change comes and we are hugely privileged to have all of you with us every step of the way.”

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