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Home-start Cowdenbeath providing local support

Home-start Cowdenbeath provides support to young families who are experiencing difficulties living in Ballingry, Crosshill, Lochore, Glencraig, Lochgelly, Lumphinnans, Cowdenbeath, Crossgates and Hill of Beath.

They provide a range of services including one-to-one support, family and parenting groups, resilience work, a summer holiday programme, and social events and activities.

Project background/history

In 2022, the organisation partnered with The Cottage Family Centre’s ‘Big Hoose’ project. The Big Hoose connects major retailers, such as Amazon, with support organisations across Fife to redistribute surplus items which would otherwise go to waste, such as bedding, toiletries, nappies and children’s clothing.

The project

Home-Start Cowdenbeath was awarded a grant of £1,000 to expand the role of its Family Worker to include coordinating deliveries from The Big Hoose and distribute these to families facing poor mental health, isolation, poverty or lack of parenting experience.

Previously, these items were held at the Home-Start premises in Cowdenbeath, but staff and volunteers felt that transport challenges and stigma from visibly accessing the project were creating barriers for families who could otherwise benefit from the service. Funding for an expansion of an additional 2 hours per week allowed the Family Worker to offer home deliveries, dropping off the items to their homes in a confidential and dignified manner.

Impact and outcomes

Home-Start workers and volunteers noted the impact that the cost-of-living crisis was having on families across the area, including those in-work who might not qualify for additional benefits and support. Delivery of basic household goods helped to alleviate pressure on family finances and free up funds for other essentials, such as groceries and utility bills.

Connecting with families in their own homes also allowed volunteers to identify the specific needs of each family and provide more targeted deliveries. The relationships established through regular deliveries also allowed staff and volunteers to build up trust, have open conversations about the challenges households were facing and signpost families to other services which could offer additional help.


We received a referral from a health visitor asking us to support a family with 4 young children. Mum suffers from long standing mental health issues and has recently been diagnosed with a neurological disorder affecting her mobility. We were able to deliver essential items to the family such as clothing drying screens, nappies, wipes, and cleaning items. Our Family Worker was able to build up a relationship with the family and Mum felt comfortable enough to discuss in depth the challenges she was facing, Through this one-to-one support we were able to help her access other services, such as Cosy Kingdom [energy advice service] and Dunfermline clothing bank.

Over the course of the project, 150 parents and children in the Cowdenbeath area were able to benefit from the project, with around 60 families also being supported to connect with other services offering emergency food parcels, debt advice and help with household energy costs.

Going forward the organisation plans to begin offering online cooking skills sessions with accompanying delivery of ingredients meal bags to further support families in light of rising household costs. An additional award of £1,960 has been offered by the Mossmorran Community Fund towards the launch of this new initiative, further supporting the work of Home-Start Cowdenbeath and the families it impacts.