As the work of the Fairer Fife Commission draws to a close, Commissioners have been hearing about how it feels to grow up in Fife.
The fifth meeting of the Commission this week was held in Dunfermline. The Commission, a group of independent experts from both public and private sectors across Scotland, has been brought together by Fife Council to challenge the organisation on the ways it’s tackling poverty across the Kingdom.
Five children from a range of different backgrounds met with the Commissioners to talk about their experiences of growing up in the Kingdom. They gave a presentation on how important it is to be Healthy, Happy and Safe and discussed a range of issues including the importance of being listened to, fairness and who helps keep them safe in their communities.
The children are all part of a group who meet regularly as part of the Children’s Parliament and had worked for two days to prepare for their meeting with the Commission.
Kurt, Connor, Sarah, Nicole and Saskia built a make-believe community from cardboard boxes to help explain to Commissioners where they felt safe, and created a power point presentation to describe their own life experiences. The children talked about whether they felt involved in the decisions about their lives, why it’s important that children are listened to, and what being fair means.
Chair of the Commission Martyn Evans is Chief Executive of the UK Carnegie Trust. He commented: “It was fantastic to listen to the views of the children who came along today and talk to them about their experiences.
“It was clear that all of them had put a lot of work and thought into their presentation and everything they’ve said will be considered by the Commission as we work towards forming our final report and recommendations.”
Over the course of a number of key meetings the Commission has been gathering evidence and hearing from organisations, including the council, about what is being done to tackle poverty in Fife.
Commissioners have visited learning centres, jobs clubs and voluntary sector organisations across Fife to gather information and evidence from people with an interest in making Fife fairer. Work is now underway to pull a report together that will provide the council with some practical recommendations, and ambitious plans and ideas for the future.
Fife Council Leader David Ross commented: “The council works with a range of partners to help Fifers affected by poverty and to try and break the cycle of poverty.
“We created the Fairer Fife Commission to challenge us, look at the causes of poverty and inequality in different areas of Fife, and make meaningful recommendations on ways forward. I’m looking forward to the publication of the report before Christmas.”
Added Mr Evans: “Our goal is to make sure that the recommendations we make will have a clear impact on the lives of people in Fife and improving the life chances of all.”
For more information on the Fairer Fife Commission go to www.fifedirect.org.uk/fairerfife