Families living in poverty will be given a helping hand thanks to new services offering practical and emotional support.
Calderdale Council is about to award more than £100,000 to local voluntary organisations so they can launch new projects to help tackle family poverty.
A variety of organisations bid for money from the Council’s Child Poverty Fund, and on Monday 2 February Cabinet will confirm which ones have been successful.
Organisations who submitted bids include:
- Grow Big – to prepare young children for school in the most deprived areas in Calderdale, through sensory play and storytelling.
- North Halifax Partnership – to help young parents into work, training and education in the child-friendly environment of Elland Children’s Centre.
- Crisis Pregnancy Care – to provide emergency equipment and clothes for babies, plus counselling on pregnancy issues.
- Orangebox – to help young people into work.
This funding is the next step in the drive to tackle the impacts of an estimated 9000 children growing up in poverty in Calderdale, and to try to reduce this number.
The Council has already set up the Child Poverty Task Force – a group of organisations working together to tackle poverty, which includes the Council, NHS, JobCentre Plus, schools and WomenCentre. The Task Force has made recommendations to Cabinet about allocating the Child Poverty Fund after thoroughly assessing all bids. Organisations needed to show that they could improve at least one of the following: attainment, health and employment chances. These criteria were set at an event last year where a range of public, private and voluntary sector organisations met to identify actions to tackle poverty.
Child poverty has long-lasting effects in communities. Studies show that children growing up in poverty are four times more likely to remain in poverty when they are adults. They are more likely to leave school at 16 with fewer qualifications, leading to lower earnings over their working life.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Cllr Stephen Baines, said:
“Awarding this money is another major step forward in our drive to tackle poverty. It shows our continued commitment to helping families become more financially independent. We know what a massive difference voluntary organisations can make to local people, so we are investing in them to help projects such as preparing children for school and getting people into work.
“The projects will build on the work that the Council and other organisations have done so far to tackle poverty, which includes helping to improve school breakfast clubs and supporting people affected by welfare reform to manage their money better and avoid debt.”