Select Committee on Work and Pensions Written Evidence


Examples of Save the Children's Anti-Poverty Community Work in he UK

  For many years Save the Children's work in the UK has focussed on challenging the effects of social exclusion and poor access to services. We have consistently worked in highly disadvantaged neighbourhoods and with specific groups who are particularly disadvantaged and discriminated-against (eg refugees and asylum seekers, children excluded from school, or young people leaving care for example) Our purpose is to develop and demonstrate specific action which can be replicated.

  Save the Children's approach to work in local communities is typified by its emphasis on involving children and young people in community decision-making, and by creating opportunities for them to design and realise local initiatives. We are determined to go beyond tokenistic consultation and secure positive and active engagement by children and young people.

Our distinctive contribution is

    —  Community-based action in areas of high deprivation.

    —  Specific action for identified groups facing exceptional disadvantage.

Save the children prioritises

    —  work with local communities or identified groups to support children, young people and families to challenge the effects of low income and social exclusion themselves.

    —  research into the effects of income poverty, poor services and social exclusion which enable us to advocate for policy solutions, and to shape our own work with local communities.

Some key examples of current and planned work in local communities:

    —  In England & Wales, we are working with children and young people to ensure their interests and concerns are taken on board in mainstream regeneration schemes (eg Cynon Valley in Wales and with Groundwork UK Durham, Macclesfield, Coventry, Nottingham, Erewash in England).

    —  In Scotland we are working in 4 designated social inclusion partnership areas (ie areas with high deprivation) with children aged nine to 15 to promote their active participation in community life. (The areas are South Edinburgh, Camlachie in Glasgow, Thurso, Fort William).

    —  In Liverpool Save the Children is working with CDS (a large housing association) and Groundwork (a leading regeneration charity) on a scheme called We all live Here to ensure that children's needs are taken into account by public housing providers. This scheme recently won an award from the National Council for Housing and Planning.

    —  In London we are developing a multi-faceted approach to child poverty involving income, services, and participation including:

    Vietnamese children and young people in Deptford and their access to services.

    An advocacy rights project involving children & young people with disabilities.

    A project developing local anti poverty initiatives to inform the Children's Fund, Sure Start and Connexions.

    —  We work with children from Gypsy and Traveller families in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Herefordshire and Birmingham in England mainly concerning education, but also on health and accommodation issues.

    —  We work locally to ensure the rights to education, social care and social integration of asylum-seeking children.

    —  Across the UK a new revised phase of our successful award scheme "Saying Power" was launched in early 2003. Disadvantaged young people aged 16-21 can apply for a place involving support for 18 months whilst they carry out action which they have designed to challenge social exclusion in their local community.

    —  "Here to HELP" is a three-year, £150 million programme set up by British Gas, which involves seven major charities (Family Welfare Association, Gingerbread, Help the Aged, National Debtline, Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB), Save the Children and Scope), plus local authorities and housing associations around Britain. The aim is simple: to provide easy and practical ways to make 500,000 homes across Britain warmer, safer and more comfortable. Save the Children is working within the British Gas `here to HELP' programme to encourage a range of community-based organisations to tackle child poverty and to involve children and young people in their programmes. Save the Children will be launching pilot projects in eight very different poor communities across Britain (4 in England, 2 in Scotland and 2 in Wales). We will be working with local children and young people to identify and address a range of issues that concern them. We will then use this experience to encourage and support a variety of other institutions across Britain to initiate similar community-based work. We hope to launch a variety of initiatives to draw attention to child poverty and to share our experience of working with children and young people to tackle it, including the dissemination of an anti-poverty pack based upon our learning.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2004
Prepared 22 January 2004