Denbeath Miners Welfare Institute

2005: A New Beginning for an Old Favourite

The Group
Denbeath Miners Welfare Institute (the Club) is located in the Levenmouth area of Fife and provides a bar and social events and activities such as bingo and bowling for members and serves as a venue for private functions. The Club was once at the heart of a close-knit mining community.

What were they trying to achieve?
At a time when the building itself was undergoing modernisation to make it more accessible, the Club Committee wanted to broaden the range of activities and events provided.  They wanted to find out what the community wanted from the centre.

How did they go about it?
A team of three researchers designed a questionnaire and went out to speak to members of the public in local shopping centres and streets.  The questionnaire gathered socio-economic data and asked about knowledge of and use of the Club and what improvements people would like to see.  The researchers also interviewed existing Club members and researched other facilities in the area in order to find out what alternatives residents had.

What did they learn?
The vast majority of Levenmouth citizens did not know where the Club was located, had little awareness of its facilities, and had little interest in joining the Club.  There was some interest in new services and facilities, the most popular being: a cinema, internet cafe, youth club, computer classes, a creche or playgroup, and advice services.  The Club was perceived to be old-fashioned and a place for older people.  Those who use the Club, however, very much appreciated it.  The main conclusion was that the range of events and facilities has to be widened to attract new, especially younger, users.