Commission hears what it’s like growing up in Fife

Chairman Martyn Evans (centre) and the other members of the Fairer Fife Commission who heard evidence from five children.
Chairman Martyn Evans (centre) and the other members of the Fairer Fife Commission who heard evidence from five children.

A commission set up to look at ways of tackling poverty in the Kingdom has been hearing about how it feels to grow up in Fife.

The Fairer Fife Commission, a group of independent experts from the public and private sectors across Scotland, heard from five children from a range of different backgrounds.

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 – Kurt, Connor, Sarah, Nicole and Saskia – 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.

They 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.

Martyn Evans, chairman of the commission and chief executive of the UK Carnegie Trust, said: “It was fantastic to listen to the views of the children 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 about what needs to be done to tackle poverty in Fife.

Commissioners have visited learning centres, jobs clubs and voluntary sector organisations to gather information and evidence.

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 said: “The council works with a range of partners to help Fifers affected by poverty and to try to 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.”

For more information on the Fairer Fife Commission click here