New autism-friendly cafe opens in Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy’s first autism-friendly cafe has opened its doors.

Back, from left; Mel Lingwood, manager; Sam Cummins, marketing; front from left: Rosie Dixon and Hannah Roy, kitchen staff and servers.

Sensoriale opened on Saturday in the former shop occupied by the Pancake Place in Kirk Wynd which closed up in January after more than 40 years in the town.

The new eaterie, a social enterprise company, offers breakfasts, snacks, light lunches and main meals in an environment designed to make eating out less stressful for people on the autistic spectrum and with other support needs, as well as everyone else.

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David Torrance MSP opened the new cafe

And Mel Lingwood, manager, said things had gone well in the first few days.

“We had a good mix of people in on Saturday and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves,” she said.

“Now we hope they will go and tell their friends to come along.”

The cafe has dimmed lighting, no loud music and a chill out area with cushions and soft toys, while pillars are covered in fur fabric.

It was opened by Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance.

He said: “The café is an exciting addition to Kirkcaldy high street. Not only is it occupying a space that may

have been left vacant, but it also offers new opportunities for those with sensory issues to interact

with society. It allows the staff to gain confidence and a skill sets, and it gets them engaging with

members of the public and forming team bonds by working together.”