In October 2015 KIKIT Pathways to Recovery CIC conducted a Child Poverty Workshop for young people in partnership with Future First Independent School and Birmingham Child Poverty Society.
Statistics for Child Poverty in UK:
- There were 3.7 million children living in poverty in the UK between 2013/14, that makes 8 children in a class of 30.
- Within Birmingham we have a third of the children living in poverty with some parts of the city having over 46% of children in poor households.
- Around 37% children live in poverty in Birmingham with Sparkbrook and Nechells being the worst affected areas.
- National Children’s Bureau confirms that the health and development of children under 5 are closely linked with the areas they grew up in where those living in deprived areas are more likely to suffer from harm.
The workshop was carried out with students and young people at Future First Independent School in Hockley. The workshop attendees consisted of young people from different ethnic backgrounds, ages and Birmingham areas.
The aim of the workshop was for the Birmingham Child Poverty Society to address the following:
- Establish clear future targets for child poverty
- Set out the child poverty challenge for Birmingham: update the needs assessment to understand the scale of the challenge
- Produce a Birmingham child poverty strategy/framework for action, building on local and national practice and exploring new approaches.
- Establish a coordinated approach to reducing child poverty by bringing together fora that address child poverty.
- Identify and determine the impact of poverty on different groups, communities and geographical areas most at risk Make policy recommendations on integrated approaches that mitigate the effects of child poverty
Within the workshop the groups discussed their ambitions in life, what they needed to achieve these ambitions and barriers they have, currently are and possibly could face in the future to achieve their ambitions. We found that a lot of the answers varied within the workshop depending on the areas they lived in, the people they were surrounded by and the financial situation within their homes. When probing the opinions of living in certain areas the young people stated ‘I can’t even pay for bus fare how am I guna go to a specialist college across Birmingham.’ They admitted that due to low funds some young people were left with no other choice than to use old bus tickets to travel.
The findings from the workshop were published within the Child Poverty Commission Report 2016 which provides recommendations on how to tackle poverty in Birmingham.
The commission includes members from the public, private and the voluntary sector including the University of Birmingham and Barnado’s.