Our three constituent local authorities Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland are working hard to address the causes and symptoms of child poverty across the North of Tyne. This is more important than ever; we know that the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis continue to make life more difficult for too many families and households in our area. (NTCA) 

North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) is committed to giving every child in our region the opportunity to thrive. That’s why in June 2021, NTCA’s Cabinet approved a Child Poverty Prevention Pilot for the North of Tyne. Working with local authority partners and school leaders, we have developed a programme made up of three pillars:  

  • Funding an innovative programme of poverty interventions in schools across the North of Tyne 
  • Bringing welfare rights advice and support directly into school settings 
  • Working with employers to tackle child poverty 

 The approach will be piloted in 30 schools across North of Tyne from June 2022 until July 2023 with a further 60 schools supported with a suite of in-school poverty interventions during the 2022-23 academic year. 

 What will our programme of poverty interventions look like? 

 We know that interventions work best when they are tailored, evidence-based and make use of trusted community settings and expertise. For this reason, NTCA has commissioned Rocket Science to gain an understanding of existing poverty interventions across our area; what works well, what doesn’t and what can we learn from national best practice. A Child Poverty Prevention steering group made up of expert stakeholders will guide this pillar and the programme activity more widely.  

 What role can employers have in tackling child poverty? 

Data tells us that employment is not always a route out of poverty. Besides paying a decent wage, employers can take practical steps to support employees experiencing financial insecurity. 

The Working with Employers pillar of the Child Poverty Prevention Programme (CPPP) is being delivered by social enterprise Society Matters cic. 

Society Matters’ approach involves supporting employers across the North of Tyne area to step up their support to employees, particularly in developing strategies to improve their financial wellbeing.  The Society Matters team has developed a Poverty Reduction Framework for employers, which will be tested and evolve with understanding of regional best practice. 

This pillar will involve encouraging employers to participate in a series of workshops to inform their own strategies, poverty reduction audits and detailed poverty reduction strategies. 

Employers across the Combined Authority area will be invited to participate in the programme, with a priority focus on those that have a high proportion of lower-paid employees with families. In part this will be through liaison with employers attached to local schools that are being supported through other aspects of the CPPP, and working in partnership with North East Chamber of Commerce and local business networks, as well as employers that have signed up to the NTCA Good Work Pledge. 

NTCA’s Good Work Pledge is free to join and supports businesses on their journey to being recognised as a ‘Good Work’ employer. This means work that provides job security, skills, progression, and decent pay- which are all important in addressing the causes of child poverty in our region.  

For more information about this programme contact: Jade.Coulson@northoftyne-ca.gov.uk

 

Society Matters CIC

Society Matters CIC is a social enterprise which is the trading subsidiary of independent charity Citizens Advice Gateshead.  

Society Matters CIC has developed a wide portfolio of learning and development programmes, including CPD accredited courses, workshops and webinars, designed to support people working ‘in the support system’ (spanning CVS organisations, housing, utility companies and employers) to understand the challenges being faced by individuals and families experiencing poverty, and the provision that’s available to them, to reduce the likelihood of falling into crisis.  

For more information about Society Matters contact