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Kelty’s Oor Wee Cafe has help and hearty welcome on the menu

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Kelty will soon have Oor Wee Café, where people in need of a meal can pay only what they can afford.

The idea started when a group of people looking for work starting chatting in the village’s job club.

Billy Inglis, 57, had been watching a feature on Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s TV show about a community shop.

“I thought that it was interesting and then we were just talking about it and it grew from that,” he said.

The accessible and affordable café will open on August 28 in Kelty’s community centre, offering a healthy meal – suitable for vegetarians and those with a gluten intolerance – without the worry about how much it costs.

The café aims to help in the fight against high levels of unemployment, a rising tide in those living in poverty and the constraints felt by the roll out of universal credit.

More than that, it will provide a social place where people could meet up with others for a blether, as social isolation is seen as a big issue locally.

Since the seed was planted, at the turn of the year, the small group – Linzi Forbes, who runs the job club, David Caldwell, 53, Andy Gillespie, 53, Karen Penman, 54, and Jackie Cooper, 63 – have been hard at work.

They have been given great support from local companies, such as Stephens The Bakers and the Co-op, and the Curnie Club, an initiative borne from the need to tackle social isolation in Fife’s communities.

Volunteers are willing to collect people with limited mobility and bring them to the Tuesday café while BRAG has offered the use of a minibus.

Jackie said that when the idea was first mooted, the group was overwhelmed by the backing of the villagers.

“When we did a public consultation, there was 97% positive feedback, especially round the whole concept of social isolaton.

“Many people do not get out,” she added.

The group, which hopes Oor Wee Café will be self-sustaining at the end of its year-long pilot, is not content with the Tuesday event, however.

It has ambitious plans for a clothing bank and community shop which would also be run on a donation only basis.

With the nearest foodbank in Cowdenbeath, it is also exploring that aspect.

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