The wee village of Gateside in Fife is a 'blink and you miss it' kind of place. However, when you scratch beneath the surface we are a diverse, close knit, warm and welcoming community of just over 200 people. Although we are in an idyllic setting, rural poverty, social isolation and lack of amenities are very real local issues.
Gateside has none of the usual places to get to know your neighbours and have a blether; there are no shops, schools, pub or church. We only have our Memorial Hall and our old play park. When Covid restrictions closed the hall, the need for an outdoor meeting space was highlighted. We desperately need a shelter that can be used as a focal point for gatherings. This would help to promote inclusiveness, build our sense of community and help to create connections between people in the village and with nature.
Our Park and vision
Our park is rather old and tired. Despite being very fond of our vintage big swings and old-fashioned roundabout, a number of parents have looked into regenerating the area. Their research found that the main need was for a covered seating area: the lack of anywhere to go has impacted on both the elderly and our young adults. The closure of our school has negatively affected the sense of identity and cohesion in the village. Once everybody knew everyone else; this is no longer the case. Many elderly people are saddened that they don't know the names of all the children anymore. A shelter would help to restore intergenerational connections; vital for tackling isolation and building a sense of belonging.
What you can help to fund
We would love to raise £5,000 for a covered shelter that would be easy to access and have a multitude of uses. In addition to being somewhere to get out of the weather, ideas for the shelter include; Book bug sessions, community gardening, art and photography classes, and storytelling. Currently the park is not very easy for anyone less able to access as there is a gravel pathway and grass, we would like to ensure the shelter is accessible to everyone.
Were we to raise even more money, we plan to build some raised gardening beds near to the seating as a community garden space with seasonal foraging foods available for the community to help themselves to. Further funds would go towards some picnic seating and possibly a barbecue area.
Thank you for your support. As our children like to say: