The Lochgelly Community Development Forum (LCDF) was surprised to find itself at the centre of a ceremony celebrating its long-term contribution to the Lochgelly area hosted by provost Jim Leishman on behalf of Fife Council.

LCDF board members Eileen McKenna, Helen Ross and Christine McGrath were invited to the Fife Civic Reception on 6th April 2017 where current Provost, Jim Leishman, presented them with a glass trophy and certificate.

The presentation to the group was made in recognition of their long-term voluntary commitment to Lochgelly, including their recent work which proved instrumental in Lochgelly securing a national SURF award for most improved town.

Spokesperson for the group Helen Ross says:

“We’re over the moon to see that our work in Lochgelly over many years is being appreciated. Countless individuals and groups across the town have helped us in a thousand ways – the success of our projects wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic support we’ve had from the community. This award celebrates the work of everyone in Lochgelly who has come together and volunteered time and energy to making our town better for all.”

Established well over a decade ago as a voluntary group, the LCDF has worked tirelessly across the community and in many different areas, from planning and development to befriending and support groups.

Among the notable projects run by the group is the Lochgelly Gala, which the LCDF brought back to life in 2010 after a long hiatus.

LCDF volunteers then delivered the Gala for the next six years, growing it each year. After the 2016 Gala the LCDF handed over the reins to a newly-established gala committee who hope to build on the LCDF successes for Lochgelly Gala 2017.

Working with other local groups and residents, LCDF volunteers stepped in to rescue the Lochgelly Christmas Lights event after Lochgelly Community Council tried to close the project in 2012, citing financial difficulties. The LCDF has since expanded this community event, with the number of lights and participants increasing year on year.

A couple of years ago, LCDF set up a local community shop to provide residents with low-cost pre-loved goods while also developing a sustainable model to support LCDF’s other projects. The community shop is now an established amenity in the town, which regularly makes small donations to the funds of local community projects.

LCDF members worked closely in partnership with local community groups, residents and Fife Council as part of the resident-led consultation that led to the creation of the Lochgelly Community Action Plan. The Community Action Plan focuses on immediate community needs and aspirations as identified by residents to improve Lochgelly for the benefit of local citizens.

The LCDF continues to be a key stake-holder in the group set up for the purpose, Lochgelly Going Forward, which is now looking at implementing and encouraging the objectives set out in the Community Action Plan.

The work of Lochgelly Going Forward has helped encourage new groups to emerge in the local area including the Lochgelly Heritage Group and Growing in Lochgelly which saw Lochgelly win a Bronze Beautiful Fife award in 2016.

The LCDF has been involved with too many projects and initiatives in the Lochgelly area to describe them all at length such as the Voice Magazine, the Lochgelly Women’s Group and the Benarty Credit Union among others.

Everyone at Loch of Shining Waters is delighted to add their congratulations to the Development Forum for this latest, richly-deserved accolade. They have truly lived up to their name.

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