COWDENBEATH has a new group of lifesavers after funding enabled 16 local residents completed emergency first aid courses. 

The sessions were funded by Fife Council and organised by the community use team with the vocational qualification the participants received is valid for three years.

One person that took part was so motivated that they went on to complete four additional courses and now provides first aid at major events.

Councillors on the Cowdenbeath area committee approved a £960 spend from the local community planning budget to fund the nationally recognised certificated emergency first aid courses.

The first was held in November last year at the Maxwell Centre in Cowdenbeath with another session in February this year at the Fife Cycle Park in Crosshill.

Free spots were offered to various community groups, including dance schools, the Cowdenbeath Civic Week and Children’s Gala Committee, a cycling club and Andy’s Man Club.

Councillor Alex Campbell, convenor of the area committee, said: "We are delighted to see the positive impact of these emergency first aid courses on our community.

"The safety and wellbeing of our residents are paramount and initiatives like this play a crucial role in ensuring that.

"We are proud to support projects that equip local groups and individuals with essential lifesaving skills."

Scott Fenton, manager of the community use team, said: "Looking ahead, we plan to share the success of this initiative across the area and the wider community use team.

"We will also apply for further funding to continue offering these vital courses and to expand essential first aid skills within our communities.

"Engagement with local residents will be a key focus, encouraging more people to participate in future courses."

The team has regularly offered various first aid courses across Fife, mainly funded by Skills Development Scotland Individual Training Accounts.

However, post-pandemic challenges and the cost of living crisis led to a decline in demand for these courses, making this recent funding crucial.