THE two projects that have started in Cowdenbeath and Benarty have to be applauded and Max's Meals and The Friendship and Food Club will make a difference to a lot of people.

These join Oor Wee Cafe, in Kelty; the Drop-In at Auchterderran Church; Lo'gelly Lunches; and the Trinity Church Cafe in Crossgates, as providing lunch-time facilities which tackle isolation issues.

It does underline the point made by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust that there are continuing deprivation problems in former coalfield communities such as the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area.

The Trust has run a lot of Futures projects in this area and each one has been an unqualified success at bringing improvements to communities.

However, there is still an underlying level of deprivation in some parts of the area which is defying all the work that is being undertaken by the Scottish Government, local authorities and groups such as the Coalfields Trust.

The isolation issue is another which is posing problems and it is difficult for groups to reach everyone who might appreciate the assistance that is available.

The work of the volunteer groups is brilliant and each one will make a difference and hopefully bit by bit the problems will get easier.