The Council has made a successful application to a national fund to help combat child poverty in our communities.
The Innovation Fund is a collaboration between the Scottish Government and the Hunter Foundation, and the £93,600 will help fund innovative and critical work with women and their families to improve their own outcomes and those of their children in years to come.
The Council will work with a range of partners including Action for Children, Homestart Clacks, Community House, Citizens Advice Bureau & Credit Union, The Gate, Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface and NHS Forth Valley to deliver the project, which aims to grow local capabilities needed to live, learn, work, care for each other and flourish. The project will focus on communities in Alloa South & East, Sauchie and Tullibody and will run over two years.
A jointly commissioned poverty and economic baseline assessment in 2017 confirmed that some communities in Clackmannanshire face issues including persistent levels of poverty in some communities which has existed for generations and is due to decline of industries, lower proportions of women in employment than the national average, the lowest earnings for women compared with all other areas in Scotland and 27% of our children living in relative poverty.
Discussion took place with people with experience of living in poverty and hardship to better understand their needs and experiences. Following this, a project which follows the broad staged approach adopted by Swindon Council called the ‘Life Programme’ has been developed. This programme is based on supporting individuals and families through four key stages – invitation to change; development of aspirations; activities to develop and practice capabilities and opportunities to grow, sustain independence and build social support networks.
This will include:
Council Leader Ellen Forson said: “We are committed to doing everything we can to change the experience of real poverty that many of our families have been living with, sometimes for generations. I’m delighted that we’ve successfully accessed this funding to help the Council and our partners to work in partnership to bring forward a new way of working with those communities, inviting them to make a change and then supporting them in activities that can help them to develop practical capabilities.
“Our plans closely follow the ambitions of our Local Outcomes Improvement Plan, and we hope to promote opportunities for people to sustain their independence and help them improve their lives, so they and their children can enjoy improved futures and make a positive impact in their own communities.”