Council £10,000 to help charity turn former bank into centre for young people with learning disabilities
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North east Fife area committee sanctioned the final support this week for Options in Life which supports young adults who have learning disabilities and additional support needs, as well as their families and carers.
The charity is in the process of renovating the C-listed former TSB bank in Cupar’s town centre to suit its needs, and on Wednesday the group received £10,000 to help with the cost. Once open, the building is expected to regularly accommodate over 300 people with learning disabilities and their families.
The charity bought the former bank last year with the intention of transforming it into a social and education centre for young people with learning disabilities, IT will have a training kitchen, café, sensory room, two classrooms, a social room and a learning garden. The committee funding will be used to set up the social room which will include the purchase of equipment and refurbishment costs. The building will allow the charity’s support capacity to increase by 300%.
Over the past few years, councillors were told that there has been a significant decline in both day centre and community-based provision for people with learning disabilities in Fife.
A report said: “As a result demand for the service has become overwhelming and has justified the effort to launch this new provision in North East Fife.”
Councillors were told that demand for the services has already been well established through the compilation of waiting lists and daily enquiries, many from the social work service, community organisations, schools, and Fife College.
“The project is targeting a marginalised group that have experienced a narrowing of available support over the past few years and are suffering as a consequence. The social space and overall opportunities within the new building will have a significant impact on their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the unpaid carers and family members who support them,” a committee report said.
The committee funding will only cover part of the renovation costs. According to a committee report, the complete renovation will cost nearly £22,000.
However, Options in Life has planned to cover the remaining costs. The committee unanimously approved the investment from the Local Community Planning budget.