2020 at Greener Kirkcaldy
In 2019, Greener we celebrated our tenth anniversary, opened our new community building and community kitchen in Kirkcaldy town centre, ran over 300 events with more than 3,000 people and supported over 1,700 households to stay warm and save energy at home.
However, as we all know, 2020 was a different year. Like all organisations, the Covid-19 pandemic meant we had to change the way we work. We did this, quickly adapting our services to meet the needs of the community, and we have had another incredibly busy year.
In March, we closed our doors to the public, moved our events online, and played a key role in local emergency response work. Between April and August, with funding from the the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund, we made and delivered over 7,400 meals to vulnerable people in Kirkcaldy, and our energy advisors gave top ups to thousands of families at risk of disconnection. We also supported other local charities in need of urgent financial help to stay open and deliver vital support services to local families, distributing more than half of the funding received to Kirkcaldy Foodbank, The Cottage Family Centre Kirkcaldy YMCA and The Linton Lane Centre.
This support continued into the autumn and winter. Our Community Chef and volunteers continue to make hundreds of takeaway community meals every week and our energy advisors support over 70 households a week who are struggling to keep their homes warm and manage their energy. Our Cosy Kingdom team have supported a massive 2,381 household since April. We also opened a community pantry – the Lang Toun Larder – with funding from Fife Council, redistributing surplus food from businesses and giving people access to healthy and nutritious food that would have gone to waste.
We have also been working hard to bring cheer and keep spirits up, with a range of online events, videos and blogs to help people stay connected, entertained and improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Over 700 people took part in our Online Kirkcaldy Walking Festival in August, getting fresh air, exercise and connecting with nature. Our summer Kirkcaldy Cycling Festival and weekly socially distanced cycle rides also encouraged people to spend time outdoors, get active and improve their physical health.
Chair of our board, Christine May said: “This has been a hard year for many, and the changes to people’s lives and ways of working and living have been profound.”
“I am proud of the way that Greener Kirkcaldy staff and volunteers switched from face-to-face to online working, and showed real imagination in finding ways to keep projects going.”
“I’d especially like to thank our amazing volunteers who have been crucial to our lockdown support work – we couldn’t have managed this year without them.”
Alongside this vital community support, we redoubled our efforts to tackle the urgent Climate Emergency in 2020. In October, we launched a new Fife-wide cross-sector climate action project – Climate Action Fife – in partnership with Fife Council, Fife College and Fife Communities Climate Action Network. The first in Scotland to be funded by the National Lottery’s new Climate Action Fund, the £200,000 project will pilot a range of innovative activities to tackle climate change in Fife.
Also in October, with funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and Path’s for All’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Fund, we opened a new town centre community bike shop – Lang Toun Cycles – offering cycle servicing and repairs, sales of refurbished bikes and accessories and free bike hire, to make it easier for people in Kirkcaldy to cycle more. This has been incredibly popular so far, with over 200 bikes repaired and serviced since June.
Following demands from the local community we also found time to help with the revitalising of Kirkcaldy town centre, working closely with new regeneration group, Love Oor Lang Toun to engage members of the community, support local businesses and encourage civic pride in Kirkcaldy.
“The local community has been very generous in its support of our work this year, as have all of our funders, partners and local businesses. We’d like to show our thanks and appreciation to them all” added Christine.
“We have been lucky to work with many other amazing local organisations over the last few months. A recent audit totalled 57 different groups!”
“Thank you all for your support for Greener Kirkcaldy and its work, both this year and over the last 11 years. We couldn’t do it without you.”
“We are looking forward to another busy year in 2021 – we have lots of exciting activities in the pipeline and we can’t wait to see you all soon.”|