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.
Glasgow Caledonian University
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chris Kerr, Senior Manager
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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.