free@last was established in 1999, with a mission to improve the lives of the children and young people of Nechells, Birmingham. This is done by providing new opportunities (adventure, exploration, broadening horizons etc.), activities, opportunities and support for children and young people. To further their interests free@last also work with their families, other agencies and relevant professionals as well as providing a range of youth clubs, sports, education and career programmes and family activities/residentials.
The team who run free@last also run a business called the Family Fun Zone www.familyfunzone.co.uk, generating its own income, and has supported 4 teenagers to start the business Brum Ting www.brumting.co.uk. These not only generate income for the charity, but employ local people, including teenagers.
Over the past 5 years we have built our own £2 million pound youth and community centre building; supplied over 1,400 people with emergency food and support during the Covid-19 lockdown; reduced debt & increased benefit entitlement to over £8 million (over £27 million during the past 13 years); mentored over 100 of the most troubled children and young people in our community; delivered over 500 dad’s and kids workshops and developed fantastic working relationships with over 150 businesses, local schools, voluntary organisations and City Council departments; and so much more. We have written a strategy to eradicate child poverty in our community and this is our purpose, to fight the root cause of the problems that many of them face on a daily basis.
The very sad statistic, that our children are going to die 10 years before someone who lives 6 train stops away, is shocking. The main reason is air pollution, which we can’t change, but what we can do is get them out to the countryside as often as we can. With the rising costs of residential accommodation, we would like to combine both and buy our own plot of land, where we can regularly take our children and get some fresh air in their lungs, as well as introducing them to nature, the countryside and the clean environment. Thank you so very much for supporting free@last and helping us extend the lives of our children.
The Clock Is Ticking, So Hurry Up
OK, so you’re up for the challenge, here’s the basics of what you need to do, step by step.