Volunteers at a charity run cafe within Victoria Hospital face having their hours cut because of competition from coffee giant Costa.
Staff at the WRVS cafe are also worried that their location within the original tower block means customers are unable to find them, leading to a loss in trade and donations.
WRVS has been at the hospital since 1975, and now employs over 40 volunteers. Originally based at the entrance, it moved to an old day-bed ward, next to the closed A & E ward on the first floor, in June.
Lee Millar, acting manager, said: “We’ve been here about five months and people still don’t know where we are.
“Because we’re a charity, we don’t really pay rent, we just donate money to the hospital. So that’s maybe why we didn’t get a good location like Costa because obviously they pay rent.”
And falling customer numbers and no increase in sales since the move mean they may have to cut back on opening hours.
Lee said: “We’ll definitely have to start closing at 6.00 p.m. during the week if it doesn’t pick up, and the weekends just aren’t worth opening as we’re so quiet.”
As well as the cafe, WRVS also runs a trolley service around the hospital, but has faced competition from another big name in recent months.
“We used to make a lot of money in the maternity ward,” said Lee. “but then they put a WHSmith in there ... so we are competing with two big names.’’
Concerned volunteer Margaret Waby said: “We’re just so out of the way. Most of the visitors go to the new block so it’s really just the clinic people that we get now.”
Another volunteer, who has worked for the WRVS for 20 years said: “The volunteers are suffering - because there are not enough work some have just given it up.
‘‘I don’t know if there’s anything that can be done, I don’t think the hospital will move us again.”
James Leiper, director of estates, facilities and capital services at NHS Fife said: “WRVS are a valued service for our patients, staff and visitors.
“We worked with the WRVS when planning their move and the position was chosen with their agreement. Appropriate signage has been installed since the re-location of their service.”