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Fact finding mission for London Challenge Poverty Week

Published on:

15 October 2019

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A senior politician visited a children's centre to mark Child Poverty Week (14-18 October) and see what Enfield Council is doing to support the borough's poorest families.

A senior councillor visited an Enfield Childrens’ Centre on Monday (14 October) to mark London Challenge Poverty Week (14-18 October) and see for himself the work that is being done to support some of the borough’s poorest families.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Rick Jewell, met staff and families during his visit to Carterhatch Children’s Centre, in Autumn Close, and talked about what the local authority is doing to lift families out of poverty.

He said: “Nearly a quarter of children in Enfield live in a low income household so we face a massive challenge in supporting them and helping them reach their potential so they, and future generations, move out of poverty.

“Children from low incomes often underachieve at school and suffer from poorer physical and mental health so the work we are doing to support low income families is critical in raising aspirations and lifting them out of poverty and keeping them out of poverty.

”Our Poverty and Inequality Commission will help us understand the root causes of poverty in Enfield and enable us to develop more effective ways of tackling it, in the meantime our children’s centres are making an immense contribution to families on low incomes and are genuinely transforming lives.”

Enfield Council is working hard to tackle child poverty. This year the Enfield Summer University programme, funded by £150,000 of Council funding, offered around 1,200 places to young people aged 11 to 19 on workshops and courses including dance, sport, music and design. The programme focuses on young people in vulnerable situations and worked with more than 30 organisations and charities.

In June, Enfield Council launched the Enfield Poverty and Inequality Commission. The Commission was set up to hear the voices and lived experiences of local people and organisations, to better understand the root causes of poverty and inequality and to shape a positive plan improve quality of life, extend opportunities and increase incomes.

Although established by the Council, the Commission itself is fully independent, is being delivered by the Smith Institute and chaired by Baroness Tyler of Enfield, supported by a panel of commissioners that balance national and regional expert knowledge with a strong local representation that bring the focus firmly inside our borough.

The Commission has been working directly with organisations and local people over the summer, through a range of meetings, events, focus groups and interviews to better understand how poverty and inequality impacts the lives of residents in Enfield.

Enfield Council continues to commission projects, working with our partners to support children and young people and in 2019 was awarded a £540,000 grant from the government to support families against youth crime, by implementing a school-based initiative at four primary schools in the borough.

Enfield’s Early Help offer recognises the important role that families have in improving outcomes for their children. The offer empowers parents or anyone else in a parenting role to achieve the best outcomes for their children, young people, families and communities.

The offer is delivered by the Parent Support Service, Change and Challenge Service and Enfield Children’s Centre, working together as Enfield’s Early Help Family Hub. The joint services work with the whole family to improve wellbeing, relationships, behaviour and communication.

Through the Early Help Family Hub, children and their families benefit from the following activities:
• Detailed assessment of need
• One to one family support
• Outreach
• Interventions with parents and children/young people around behaviour, relationships etc.
• Signposting and linking with community agencies
• Working with schools
• Parenting programmes, groups and workshops
• Support to return to employment, education and training
• Speech, language and communication support
• English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
• Mental health and wellbeing services, including counselling and peri-natal services
• Domestic abuse support
• Advice of benefits and debt
• Access to a range of health services for children under 5