THE community has rallied to revive a vital service in Cowdenbeath after its shock closure earlier this month.

Volunteers met with parents and other supporters last Wednesday to discuss what could be done next for the town’s After School Club.

A “perfect storm” of issues with accommodation and funding had led to the shutdown of the facility, with staffing problems also highlighted.

Councillor Darren Watt attended last week’s meeting, which he says was a step in the right direction to restoring the group.

“Everyone is keen to see the service continuing, the easy option would have been allowing it to fold,” he told the Times.

“The fact this is a private club means there are more benefits, and it’s not for profit.

“There are plans in place to revive it, it was a perfect storm initially, it is a waiting game now but we are hopeful.”

He says that Isobel Scott, who founded the club, updated that the Maxwell Centre had been secured as a new base, after their previous home at Cowdenbeath Primary School had become unavailable, and that the next step would be seeking a new manager.

Funding schemes will also be considered, with plans to bring together a committee in the hope of applying for grants and hosting fundraisers.

“There’ll always be staffing issues - everywhere is short staffed,” Darren continued.

“Childcare has been particularly hard hit, everywhere is struggling to recruit, wages often aren’t as competitive. There may be options for voluntary experience, or it could be that parents are stepping in.”

He added that, short-term, many of the people who had been reliant on the club who he has spoken to have been able to accommodate, either with help from family members or by working from home.

Though he stressed those solutions “can’t be long-term sustainable”, especially during school breaks when the club had hosted successful “holiday camps”.

“I am hopeful something can be in place by the October holidays for the sake of parents,” he said.

“Sometimes it is not just one child having to stay home, it is two or three, it can be a big juggling act for parents and has been stressful enough with the cost-of-living crisis.”

A committee meeting has now been scheduled for next Wednesday, September 28, at 7pm at the Maxwell Centre. Anyone is welcome to attend, especially those with ideas for the club, or those who can provide assistance.