FARE - Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse

FARE

1. No Poverty 2. Zero Hunger 4. Quality Education 10. Reduced Inequalities 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Overview

FARE, standing for ‘Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse’, is a social enterprise based in the East end of Glasgow, Scotland. Over the past few years, Fare has proven to be innovative through their ‘StreetwYze’ campaign, aiming to educate young children of the dangers and consequences of being associated with gangs. StreetwYze is an eight-week programme delivered to young children in their final year of primary education - as the period of transition from primary to high school is when many are at their most vulnerable due to the peer pressure of joining gangs.

Author

Agata Lech

Agata Lech

School

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow Caledonian University

Professor

Shariq Sheikh

Shariq Sheikh

Innovation

Although the programme was initially intended for the children of Easterhouse, as this is the main area in which FARE operate, they have also been nationally accredited in Scotland - a result of their unique approach to teaching children. Due to their experience and upbringing in the area, both volunteers and employees have first hand awareness of gang violence and the devastating impacts it can have. Fare’s Streetwyze team travel to 25 schools all over Scotland to share their knowledge, as they offer lessons that many other organisations are unable to. Chris Kerr, a senior manager at Fare Scotland, explained that this helpful programme is “about educating these young people and giving them more opportunities”. This unique approach has allowed FARE to help improve the health, wellbeing and safety of young people living in areas with high crime rates by showing the dangers and consequences of gang violence, knife crime, alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour.

Additionally, FARE encourages the children involved in the course to express their own personal experiences in the form of artwork poems and creative writing. Not only does the StreetwYze programme help keep young people out of gangs, all that complete the programme earn a Dynamic Youth Award, allowing them to become more employable after school. As a result of FARE’s work, 621 young people have achieved SCQF Level 2 awards for their participation in the project. Giving young people the chance to gain employability skills is an objective that is at the core of a lot of FARE’s’ work, as they understand that many children within areas such as Easterhouse, may not have the aspiration to work hard in school. Therefore, Fare have to come up with innovative ways that will develop employability skills of its members as they help guide many children to partake in first aid courses or Duke of Edinburgh Awards, the world’s leading youth achievement award for example, as they set out to guide the people of Easterhouse in the right direction for the future.

FARE - Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse

Inspiration

Bob Holman and Betty McPherson, the late founders of FARE Scotland, created the enterprise in 1989 as a result of ongoing social problems in the areas of Easterhouse and Rogerfield in the east end of Glasgow. Young people, in particular, were continuously getting into the same cycles, as Chris described: “drugs, alcohol, gang violence, prison, no aspirations and unemployment”. They identified it was mainly to do with the lack of amenities in the area, fundamentally due to a lack of government investment or attention. The area had become incredibly divisive and territorial due to the plethora of gangs, therefore FARE was a solution to unite the community. A youth club with no stipulations; with activities and social opportunities for everyone, being it a toddler or a senior citizen. The founders, as well as the current board, all live or, have lived locally. Thus, the club is organic, and those running it genuinely want to see their community thrive, as well as being best placed to understand the social problems many individuals in the area face. Since the charity’s origins, it has expanded significantly and their vision has extended to other areas in Glasgow and parts of Edinburgh – so they have elaborated their vision of “enhancing the lives of the local people” – in order to carry out their influential work across Scotland. The board continuously represent and fulfil the founders' dream of a better community that can shed some light in a largely neglected area, showing that regardless of the challenges, significant change can be made from within.

Overall impact

The overall impact of FARE’s innovation is the positive effect it has on families and children who are living in disadvantaged areas. FARE aims to bring people of all ages together in order to develop trust and build connections within the community. FARE offers a range of projects which are available in the FARE centre, both primary and secondary schools, and a number of other outlets.

The FARE project aims to create equality for members of the community and give individuals the skills and knowledge needed in order to gain employability. FARE works in connection with the council and charities in order to produce the Connect 2 programme. This programme gives teenagers who have left school or who have become detached from education the opportunity to learn vital skills which will benefit the participants in gaining employment, such as problem-solving and conflict resolution - 33 young people took part in the programme in 2017, with 31 individuals progressing onto further education or employment. FARE also offers youths the opportunity to gain health and safety, first aid, and manual handling qualifications so that members of the community have experiences and accomplishments to mention on their CV’s. Despite not succeeding in their school exams, over 40 young individuals gained such qualifications in the year 2017-18.

Furthermore, FARE also assists in the development of individuals. The centre creates opportunities for its members such as offering employability within the FARE organisation. Currently, the centre has 5 members of staff completing modern apprenticeships, whereby throughout their employment, the individuals are working towards gaining a qualification in Youth Work, thus further benefiting the organisation. Moreover, the centre has over 6 individuals carrying out their placement within FARE, allowing such individuals to develop their experience and gain their HNC and degree.

In addition to these programmes, FARE has a huge impact on the community it operates within by creating Gala Day events for various communities, whereby individuals are able to enjoy a fun and free day with friends and family. A total of 10 Gala Days were hosted across Glasgow last year, with over 5200 people in attendance, according to FARE’s annual report. FARE also provides Flat Pack Meals. This imitative promotes healthy eating within disadvantaged areas by providing cheap complete meal packs for families to cook within their own homes and also educate families on nutrition and budgeting.

Business benefit

As Chris explained, one of the main objectives of the FARE business plan is to “get local people and train them up and give them the opportunity to provide the services within their own communities”. Additionally, with 90% of Fares 53 staff being from the local areas which Fare serve, it is clear that one of the main business benefits FARE achieves is converting a number of the people they develop and train, into useful assets in the form of skilled employees. Furthermore, over the past few years, FARE has managed to build a strong and trusting relationship with Supermarket Chain Lidl, through purchasing food for their Christmas Hamper programme. As a result, Lidl has given a number of generous and helpful donations to FARE in terms of pallets of food and toiletries which gets distributed to the local community. This provides benefit to FARE as a business as it allows them to cut their costs. Moreover, with FARE constantly partaking in partnership and investment meetings, they have successfully managed to build a number of strong connections with the Scottish Business environment. Most notably, Duncan Bannatyne, a hugely successful Scottish Entrepreneur and celebrity, provided FARE with a very generous donation towards building their new premises. Establishing these links, and gaining donations and investments from Scottish businesses, grant-makers and investors is extremely beneficial to FARE, as the more capital they have at their disposal, the more they can expand the business, and continue to offer beneficial programmes and training to the local community of Easterhouse and Rogerfield.

Social and environmental benefit

FARE’s impact on society is unquestionable; with their main goal helping the disadvantaged surrounding the community. It achieves this by offering direct help to those in need, as well as engaging people to help members in the community. Firstly, FARE often employs people within the community who have previously associated with their services. By employing and developing people in the community, it helps mitigate many of the issues Easterhouse faces. They also offer apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities, resulting in people from highly disadvantaged backgrounds being able to enhance their curriculum vitae. Not only does it reduce unemployment levels, but also provides members with the opportunity to gain qualifications needed for many jobs, and by encouraging and supporting those looking to get into education. They also effectively relieve the stress of parents who may be recovering from mental health problems or alcoholism, for example, as they can help provide transport from FARE to their home. Furthermore, FARE helps to re-socialise people who were previously involved in gang violence or even those who have spent time in prison, by engaging them in the community; therefore, allowing them to reform social values, beliefs and norms. FARE also successfully fights hunger and poverty in the area by providing support and meals for those in need. Members of the community can learn to cook and manage their money more efficiently.

They also highlight the importance of offering environmental benefits and encouraging others to be more sustainable. They have many recycle bins located around the premises and ingrain the importance of this to people in the community from a young age. In addition, during their cooking classes, they highlight the problems associated with food waste. Furthermore, during their flat-pack meals, they sometimes have a ‘veggie day’, and provide information regarding the environmental advantages of lowering meat consumption.

Interview

Chris Kerr, Senior Manager

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FARE

FARE

Glasgow, Scotland, GB

Business Website: http://fare-scotland.org/

Year Founded: 1989

Number of Employees: 51 to 200

FARE (Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse) works within communities to improve the lives of children and families living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.