A real good blether with the people at the community café in Gallatown, Kirkaldy

Guest post by Lynn Henni and Claire McKenna Primary Care Strategy and Innovation Team.

Last week we visited the Community Café in Gallatown, Kirkcaldy which has been developed as part of Inspiring Scotland’s Link Up Programme.

The Café grew out of a Link Up cookery group and is run every Wednesday from 12.00-1.30 pm in the Overton Mains Community Centre by volunteers.

The Café was started up at the beginning of 2015 year to provide an opportunity for people to come together (especially young and older people) to meet other people in the community, have a blether and enjoy something healthy and affordable to eat.

As soon as you step into the Café you can sense a lovely warm friendly atmosphere.  It now regularly attracts over 30 customers each week who come along to enjoy a delicious 3 course meal for the unbelievable price of £1.50! (eg a bowl of soup, a plate of mince and tatties followed by apple crumble and custard).  Ingredients to make the meals come from the Fairshare Charity and Link Up and any money made goes straight back into the café.  People can also feel relaxed in bringing their kids along too as there are plenty of toys available to keep them amused.

The Café is clearly developing into a ‘thriving community hub’.  Since coming to the café some people have gained the confidence to try out other community groups and are asking to be referred to other support services.

One lady who had recently experienced severe isolation and anxiety told us that the since coming to the café she had made some new friends and feels ‘more connected’ with what is a happening in the area. She explained that the interaction with people at the café is helping her feel happier and well.

Another explained the importance to her of maintaining eye contact with her GP when she went to see him. She felt his computer screen was a barrier to having an open, honest and more meaningful chat with him.

Details of The Nuka System of Care can be found here

This Café is a fantastic example of the community working for itself and making a real difference to local people.

Views highlighted:

  • GP Computer screens getting in the way of having a trustworthy meaningful conversation with patients
  • Need more health visitors – if you are not eligible – you will be in danger of having no connection with anyone
  • Good if we could talk to someone out with the medical profession to explain just how we are feeling
  • Should use pharmacy much more for advice
  • Wouldn’t feel comfortable going to a nurse for everything – would depend on their training
  • Happy to see the nurse if it relieves pressure of the GPs
  • Nurses should get paid more for the extra work they are doing
  • E-consultations – not for the older generation – confidence issue– perhaps younger ones will use it


Published by

Healthier Scotland

The Scottish Government is inviting you to have your say on what a healthier Scotland should look like in the next 10 to 15 years.

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