Cabinet set to review the significant steps taken to help tackle poverty in West NorthamptonshireCost of living support
06 July 2023
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) Cabinet are set to review the progress and impact made against the Anti-Poverty Strategy following its year one of implementation.
The Anti-Poverty Strategy was launched in April 2022 as a three-year strategy which strengthened a joint commitment towards helping people live their best lives by adopting a fresh approach towards tackling poverty and deprivation. The strategy was produced by a number of partners with an accompanying action plan that included ‘must-do’ actions to be completed by the end of year one.
With over 6,000 vouchers distributed via community organisations to vulnerable residents and over £240,000 allocated to foodbanks via the Food Aid Alliance in West Northamptonshire as part of the Household Support Fund 3, the report looks in detail at the many steps taken to provide needed support for residents in West Northants as the cost of living continued to increase in the last year.
In addition, the warm welcoming spaces project which launched during the 22/23 winter period emphasised the need of this provision with nearly 53,000 attendances between December 22 to February 23, and 3,371 residents who attended the spaces being referred onto wraparound services. Over 90 local partners registered to be a warm welcoming space, which confirmed the importance of this provision and secured further funding for the winter period for the next few years as well as the summer 2023 period, with a focus on mental health support and social connection.
The report emphasises the impact that the increasing cost of living has had, and continues to have, on residents and the criticality of the support available that helps towards day-to-day essentials as well as their mental wellbeing.Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at WNC
The support implemented and/or underway has been varied and focused on a number of a key areas including; fuel poverty, money and debt advice, immigration support, employment support and the development of a new Community Training Partnership that will equip with front line workers and volunteers with knowledge on social welfare issues and signposting.
In the last year, we have also developed an extensive cost of living support hub which has a number of different services and resources available to help residents navigate through support they may be eligible for. This has already seen a huge amount of use and we continue to work to keep this as up to date as possible.
The action plan for year one to accompany the Anti-Poverty Strategy was incredibly ambitious and it is through the dedication and commitment of those working hard behind the scenes that we’re able to make so much of this happen, so a huge thank you to them. As we move on to focus on year two actions, we will continue to work closely with our community and voluntary sector organisations, as well as our other partners to implement learnings and best practice.
Several other impactful projects have started including a Community Training Partnership which will provide training for all frontline workers and volunteers on the key social welfare issues in West Northamptonshire, due to launch in Autumn 2023, as well as funding provided to voluntary and community partners to increase money and debt advisors in response to cost of living demand queries.
Partners will continue to work together to identify and implement actions for year two of the strategy.
To view the full strategy please visit our Tackling Poverty page.