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child colouring in
child colouring in

Support for families in Fife

Families First St Andrews (FFSA) was established in 2001. As a registered charity and community group, the organisation works alongside children and their families to overcome the personal challenges they face in life. By supporting these individuals they aim to; reduce isolation, develop self-esteem, improve social skills and relationships. FFSA offer tailored support for parents and carers, one to one befriending for children aged 5 to 12 and group work for young people to resolve issues and learn to work alongside others. Situated in St Andrews, FFSA operate across North-East Fife and support on average, 60 people every week. 

The project 

Funding from the Essentia Foundation is helping to support FFSA’s ‘Family Support’ initiative. In 2020, the organisation was awarded a grant of £1,448 and grant monies are being used to build the capacity of the organisation’s youth activities and expand the delivery of their children’s services. Over the duration of 2020 and in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, FFSA noticed that there was a significant increase in the demand for support to vulnerable families and children and that the level of support needed by parents and carers was increasing. At the height of the pandemic and with volunteers unavailable, FFSA urgently needed additional staff to deliver this frontline service.

Thanks to support from the Essentia Foundation, FFSA was able to recruit a new temporary youth worker who was able to offer youth group and befriending services via zoom, social media and face to face delivery. On the work undertaken, this new member of the team has been able to forge important community links: 

 “I gained the trust of the young people and parents/guardians, communication and conversation became more consistent over time… I built relationships with the wider community - established venues to host Youth Group/Befriending sessions for inclement winter conditions; three successfully sourced in Cupar and St Andrews”


FFSA Youth Worker 


The outcome

Since the beginning of this project, 67 young people have now received support from the newly appointed youth worker. The success of the ‘Family Support’ initiative in 2020 has meant that FFSA has now been able to make their newly appointed youth worker, full time and permanent. Looking to the future, FFSA is excited to continue their work in the wider area and help children and families recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.