FRAE Fife was established in 1999 as a Social Inclusion Partnership funded by the Scottish Executive, and supported by a partnership which included Fife Council, NHS Fife, Scottish Enterprise and representatives from voluntary sector organisations.
In 2009, to better reflect the relationship with Ethnic Mionority Communities, a business model and organisational structure was adopted to allow FRAE Fife to operate as an independent voluntary organisation and registered charity, focusing on race equality issues. Since that time it has established itself as the leading organisation in Fife tackling social exclusion, racism and discrimination experienced by ethnic minority communities, and working in partnership with other agencies to design and deliver better public services.
Its overarching aim is to build the capacity of Fife’s ethnic communities by:
• Raising awareness among ethnic communities about their rights and responsibilities as citizens of Fife and about public and voluntary sector services, and how to access them.
• Raising awareness and understanding among public and voluntary sector organisations of the needs of ethnic minority communities, and encouraging them to involve ethinic minority communities in the design, delivery, and evaluation of public and voluntary sector services, in accordance with the requirements of race relations, and equalities legislation.
• Facilitating the development of skills, and the creation of training and employment opportunities for members of ethnic minority communities, to enable them to compete effectively in the Labour Market.
• Promoting equality and diversity among all sections of the population, and fostering better relationships between different religious and ethnic groups, as well as the indigenous population.
Over the years FRAE Fife has contributed to the development and growth of a wide range of strong and vibrant community organisations, which continue to reflect the needs and aspirations of Fife’s new and settled communities, against a backdrop of continually changing demographics, and difficult economic circumstances.
Key achievements to date include:
• The development of a strong and responsive support network across 35 ethnic minority organisations throughout Fife.
• The delivery of Equality and Diversity training to 200+ staff in public and voluntary sector organisations
• Hosting a series of highly successful Community Conferences.
• The establishment of a nationally recognised Health Advocacy project.
• An innovative Youth Sports Project bringing communities together through participation in sport of over 300 young people.
• The establishment of an Advocacy and Legal Advice Service for immigrants and Asylum Seekers which has supported hundreds of individuals and families.
• The development of an Outdoor Activities programme for ethnic minority communities in partnership with Fife Rangers Service.
• The completion of a comprehensive Mapping Exercise to identify the needs and priorities of Fife’s ethnic minority communities.
• A Community Energy Audit to monitor the energy use behaviour of Minority Ethnic households in Fife.
• A Climate Challenge funded project to reduce energy costs in BME households and move families out of Fuel Poverty.
FRAE Fife is a membership organisation open to all, which is constituted as a company limited by guarantee and having charitable status. It is governed by a Board of Directors. The original Board was appointed following a lengthy recruitment and selection process supported by a firm of consultants, which aimed to bring the widest possible range of relevant experience and skills to the governance of the new organisation. The membership of the Board has changed over the years to reflect the needs and changing priorities of the organisation, although several original members continue to serve.
The Board brings to the organisation, a wide range of skills, knowledge, experience and professional qualifications across a range of disciplines. It is comprised of a range of individuals; some who have a wide network of contacts among ethnic minority organisations, others who have in depth knowledge and understanding of the statutory and voluntary sectors and some who are experienced politicians at local and national level. Some of our directors are from the business community, bringing a wealth of much needed financial, legal, and strategic planning know-how to our deliberations. The majority of Directors have first-hand experience of serving on boards and committees within the voluntary sector, and are well informed on company and charity law.