Work is ongoing at Kilmarnock Fire Station to transform a disused area to include a welcoming shed to encourage talking, a sensory garden, poly tunnels for food growing and areas which can be used for play and education purposes by children’s nurseries. These safe community spaces will be open to all with time being booked in advance.
The station will be working in partnership with NHS health professionals, voluntary organisations and engaging with young people on fire, water and road safety. All Ayrshire fire stations will be assessed for community hub projects with three beehives being introduced at Kilmarnock, Dreghorn and Ayr.
Paul Blackwood is Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Commander for Community Safety. He said: “We are hoping to combat loneliness and promote mental health awareness by bring people together in a safe space, while we will also be providing education on climate literacy, fresh produce, contributing to local food larders and promoting sustainability projects.”
Area Commander Ian McMeekin is Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Local Senior Officer for East, North and South Ayrshire. He said: “This activity is another example of the added value the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service contributes to our local communities. Through our participation in local partnership environments we are able to use our land and assets in ways that truly brings the term Community Fire Station to life, whilst also supporting wider socio-economic and environmental needs.”
The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said: “National Lottery funding can make amazing things happen in local communities across the country. This project delivered by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, is a great example of community activity in action, showing just what can be achieved when people come together for a common cause or to help others. National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is helping to support this vital work and to help communities thrive.”