Sunday, 16 October 2011

Tackling Child Poverty in Dudley

15,000 children in Dudley live in poverty.

That's 22% of children in the borough. Child poverty in Dudley is rising at a faster rate than the average. Dudley has a higher proportion of parental couples in poverty than lone parents.

Nicki Burrows at Dudley CVS supports a network of voluntary, community and faith-based organisations who work with children, young people and families. The network is hosting a cross-sector event focusing on child poverty on Tuesday 18 October, Child Poverty - not in our backyard Twitter users can follow the event using #cypfpov11. As well as the interest in the event which has been generated (150 people have booked to attend), I have been incredibly impressed that Nicki and the network will make this happen without spending anything. Everything has been contributed for free, from the venue to the coffee.

And then I heard something even more inspiring...

In working with Children's Services on the Child Poverty Strategy, Nicki discovered that 3,000 children in Dudley receive a free school meal during term time. Some of them may go for 2 or 3 days without food during school holidays. Local food banks and soup kitchens see an increased demand during school holidays. Ever keen to create innovative solutions to problems, and to involve the private sector, Nicki has developed an activity to encourage local businesses and food outlets which provide hot meals to provide meals to children in school holidays. I interviewed Nicki to find out more about all this work:

The information about Child Poverty in Dudley above is from Dudley's Child Poverty Needs Assessment available here. The measure of child poverty is the number of under 16 year olds who live in households whose income is below 60% of the national median income.

This post was made as part of Blog Action Day - an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. The aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all. The topic of discussion this year is food.


  1. Mike Chitty did an event in leeds called 'disrupting poverty' which i think is a great collaborative model for not accepting a anti-poverty strategy is going to resolve things for us..

  2. Hi Casey

    Thank you for your comment and reminder of this great work in Leeds. it has been really useful for me to visit the Innovation Labs Leeds site today (prompted thoughts about another project). I am also interested to see that a Results Factory event is planned in 2012 to follow up the Innovation Lab.

    I'm pleased to feedback that Nicki's work in Dudley continues, by way of example here's her post describing the meals project to potential participants: