On the 23rd March like many other organisations and services, Kirkcaldy YMCA had to close down it’s face to face services. This included all our youth work programmes, community activities, along with a number of food based and support services which support around 400 people per week.
During week 4 of lock down, we identified through our support calls and on-line group chats that: families, adults and young people were really beginning to struggle. Folks were seeking emotional support, assistance with food, mobile data and looking for advice on ways to cope. The reality of living in lockdown was really beginning to kick in.
The Gaffer, Link Up and Aspiring Gallatown Workers thought about ways to tackle this, knowing that: money, resilience, and people’s ability to cope would decrease as the week went on, with weekends being difficult.
As many of our usual activities had a food focus – Family Diners, Community Lunch, Talking Café, we thought that making a meal for people would be a good idea and guestimated that around 50 people or families would take up this offer, and that the numbers might increase to 75 meals.
As soup packs are part of our usual offering – a bag containing everything you need to make a pot of homemade soup – we decided to offer everyone a soup and added in some fresh fruit.
We needed people to help us.
Some of our staff, a community volunteer who is a qualified cook, alongside some of our other volunteers all got on board. The plan: to cook a healthy, comforting meal on a Thursday and Friday, with soup and fruit packs, and deliver these to people we work with in the Kirkcaldy area.
As the weeks have gone on, a humungous effort is being made to provide more than 400 meals each week, by our dedicated staff, volunteers and young people on Community Jobs Fund, assisted by volunteers from the Helping Hand Initiative, Pheonix Futures and re-deployed staff from Fife Council’s “Team Fife”.
The staff and volunteers are working together to prepare and deliver the meals, and soup packs with a cheery smile, and a kind word to the many families and people we support across Kirkcaldy.
All of this has only been made possible with the generously given support from a range of funders – such as The Scottish Government, Foundation Scotland, Inspiring Scotland and the Co-op – to all involved, thank you!
(Update provided by Kirkcaldy YMCA)