An interview with Stuart Fraser: Director of Frontline Make Change
In his own words
My name is Stuart Fraser, I have has worked in health care and social enterprises as a Nurse and Manager for the last 25 years in Scotland, England and now Ireland. My experience includes working in the NHS, voluntary sector, trading and service delivery social enterprises all in the Addiction Treatment Sector.
I have joined Inchicore and Bluebell Community Addiction Team in November 2014 and rebranded to Frontline Make Change in 2018. I have a strong interest in Social Enterprise, my Master’s thesis investigated developing a green social enterprise.
TCM: What are the main services you provide to your community?
Stuart: We provide services to those who need help overcoming addiction and wish to make change no matter how small. We have 3 main areas of targeted provision, Adult addiction services, Childcare and Community Development.
I also sat on Mentor Iontach which was the advisory group for the Msc in Social Enterprise run by DCU Ryan Academy. On another note I have a passion for music and has been seen fronting a dodgy Dr Feelgood tribute band in Dublin. When not gigging my other passion is old vintage VW campervans and has been seen at many a motorway service station with his van waiting for breakdown services.
We provide a range of talk therapy- individual and group, crisis intervention and harm reduction support, systemic family therapy, High scope developmental approach with childcare and positive parenting. All interventions are from evidenced models of care and with a strong focus on cognitive behavioural therapy. We offer a progression of care that hopefully ends up in reduced or cessation of problematic addictions further education and hopefully employment.
TCM: How does growth and scaling up apply to your business?
Stuart: It is not an absolute but something we are interested in. The main goal for us is to provide and maintain high quality health care to a very marginalised client group, that don’t generate a lot of mainstream sympathy. We believe our service model is of a very high standard and if there were opportunities to franchise the model then that would be something, we would be interested in developing, as long as quality is not compromised.
Social Enterprise is another area we are keen to grow into.
TCM: If I say Probations services, addiction and employment, what do you say?
Stuart: I think I would say Social Enterprise, the main gap and block to successful reintegration from our service users is meaningful employment. Most of the people we see in addiction have criminal records and find it near impossible to find employers willing to take them on.
This can lead back to old patterns of behaviour and re offending.
I think there is incredible potential to increase Social Return of Investment by setting up Social Enterprises that can win procurement contracts from state organisations and provide meaningful employment to our client group.
If we do the math, it costs the state €120k per year to house a prisoner in a state prison if we can reduce reoffending rates through meaningful employment at a cost of say €30k per year we have a SROI for every euro invested in that job we save the state €4. A compelling argument that social business can help recovery and save money at the same time.
TCM: What is a success story in your field?
Stuart: Success for us is very subjective and doesn’t need to be the full success story for clients of out of addiction and back working. Small wins may be stopping the individual committing crime to fund their addiction and budgeting what money they have. It could be teaching parenting skills and maintaining custody of their children.
It could be as simple as walking through our doors and asking for help for the first time and realising they need help. That’s massive. For us as an organisation the success story is providing Quality Standards in Health care and having a happy motivated workforce. Growth and scaling is a bonus and recognises that the model works.
TCM: What is the question you would have liked me to ask you and why?
Stuart: When’s your next album coming out? Why? doesn’t everyone want to be a rock and roll star!! 😊
Interview & Editing by Pascal Derrien on behalf of Talent Cloud Media
You can find more about Stuart and Frontline Make Change’s work on their website frontlinemakechange.com