The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge Programme

28 February 2018

The Prince’s Trust provides personal development opportunities to disadvantaged young people through the Fairbridge Programme. These include a range of group courses in subjects such as engineering, climbing and art and support sessions with agencies specialising in mental health, substance abuse or housing. Last year, 4,098 young people were helped through this programme across the UK.

Young people on the Fairbridge programme are introduced to FareShare food from the start as they are encouraged to use the food in the kitchen to make breakfast and sit down to eat in a group. John Dyer from The Prince’s Trust Centre in Cardiff, believes that this provides them with a great introduction to the course and to one another, and sets them up for the day’s activities.

“It’s amazing when you sit down with young people and sometimes they’ll chat to you informally and say ‘my favourite thing in the fridge was this…’.  You’d be surprised at how many times food is the central subject of conversation for young people.”

Far from just being a great conversation starter, the food provided on the course will sometimes be the only substantial meal the students eat that day. The Trust aims to provide healthy and nutritious meals, to not only provide students with energy for the course, but to also ensure that their basic needs are met. If the Trust is aware that any of the young people may be going home to an empty cupboard, they will make up a bag of food for them to take away with them.

“For a lot of the young people that are coming in, actually they’re really impoverished in terms of their access to nutritious food. They can’t afford to buy the things that generally people would expect to be in a fridge/freezer at home.”

Young people at the Fairbridge project ran by The Prince's Trust

Good food helps to see you are important

John explained that many of the young people have a lack of knowledge of food and nutrition. The Trust aims to change this and allow them to gain cooking and budgeting skills. FareShare food is used for culinary lessons, where the students will learn recipes and create their own meals to take home with them.

“Food is something that is not always their first priority, like paying for a roof over their head, or paying their debts, or just surviving in general; whereas having this relationship with FareShare allows us to put food right back in the heart of things.”

The food supplied by FareShare also saves The Trust money, enabling them to spend more on the course and to ensure the efficiency of the support they provide for young people in need. John highlighted the importance of the variety and quality of the FareShare goods they receive, which can provide a rare treat. Students will have the opportunity to cook and enjoy food items that some of them may have never seen before.

“We might get ‘Taste the Difference’ food, whereas if we were working on our own budget we would be getting own-brand. I think that does make a difference, both for their physical wellbeing but also I think it affects them mentally and emotionally, because they’re seeing that actually they’re important.”

The Prince's Trust Fairbridge Project in Cardiff supports young people

Nutritious food allows for learning and enjoyment

The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge provides one-to-one support and group activities to help disadvantaged young people stabilise their lives and move into work, education or training. FareShare food provides essential nutrition for these students and opportunities to develop skills to cook healthy meals for themselves. The Prince’s Trust is able to ease the food concerns of young people who already face hardships in their lives and instead, enable them to enjoy it.

As well as the fresh produce that the charity receives from FareShare Cymru, The Prince’s Trist also receives longer-life produce that the public donates during the Christmas Food Collection, which enables them to provide a variety of meals for the people who use their services.

Phil Jones, Director of The Prince’s Trust Cymru, said:

“The Prince’s Trust Cymru has been receiving food from FareShare to support young people on our Fairbridge Programme since 2012. Some of the young people we work with are affected by poverty and lack: both the means and understanding to have a healthy and nutritious diet. We know how important it is for young people to eat well, both for their physical and mental wellbeing, and we are grateful for this support.”

How you can help

8.4 million people across the UK are struggling to put food on the table. We think that is unacceptable, especially when so much good food is going to waste. We need your help to fight hunger and food waste today. £1 is enough to help deliver food for 4 meals. It’s the generosity and commitment of supporters like you that helps bring FareShare’s mission to life.

Set up a regular or one-off donation, or send a text message to make a gift to make a difference to people’s lives today: text FARE18 and the amount you would like to donate to 70070 (e.g. FARE18 £10). It will help us deliver more food to frontline charities and community groups like The Prince’s Trust who provide good quality, nutritious food to disadvantaged people like those supported by the Fairbridge Programme.