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Lincoln Against Poverty Conference 2017

Posted on 17th March, 2017 by Lincoln Against Poverty

Around 30 organisations from across Lincoln came together at the fourth annual Lincoln Against Poverty Conference this week (Wednesday, March 15), where the partnership work carried out so far was commended by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Delegates heard presentations on a range of topics, including welfare reform and the launch of a new service – Lincoln Money – which provides an alternative to high cost loans for people who are unable to access mainstream services.

Lincoln will become the second city in the UK to benefit from this new, ethical financial organisation, which offers a viable alternative to high-cost credit and door step loan companies, helping people escape the lure of unscrupulous lenders.

Organised by City of Lincoln Council, the conference took place at the Alive Conference Centre, in Newland. It aims to ensure organisations across the city are working together to have a positive impact in people’s daily lives, and is an opportunity for them to come together to plan the next steps to help people living in poverty.

A keynote speech was delivered by Katharine Knox, Policy and Research Programme Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which carries out research and campaigns to tackle poverty at a national level. Katharine said: “The first thing I noticed in Lincoln is you’ve got a track record of having worked together for a number of years on this, which is really positive. “You’ve done a lot of engagement establishing what the issues are so there’s a good understanding. There’s a real sense of people working together and we’ve identified some links that could be made.

 “I was talking to a water company that wants to promote social tariffs but their issue is finding the people to provide the support to. They were able to talk to the frontline service providers who are the people who need the information. It’s a really good example of how putting people in the same room enables those connections to be made. Working in partnership can make things change.

 “There’s a lot going on in terms of financial inclusion and a lot of ideas being generated. There’s definitely some positive initiatives.”

Katharine highlighted the Lincoln Living Wage campaign and co-location of the Department for Work and Pensions Job Centre with the council in City Hall as examples of positive work, but said there was scope for more work in the city with employers and businesses to support job creation and flexible working.

Several workshops also took place to discuss local issues and share ideas for how organisations can work together to tackle these over the next year and beyond

Councillor Rosanne Kirk, Portfolio Holder for Social Inclusion and Community Cohesion at the city council, said: “Poverty remains a significant issue in Lincoln but there’s a hugely encouraging amount of commitment from organisations across the city to tackle this.

“By continuing to work closely together we can build upon the fantastic work that’s already been achieved.

“Thank you to everyone who’s been involved in this year’s event. It’s been a great opportunity to build relationships and to share ideas for our action plan going forward as we seek to mitigate the effects of poverty for people in Lincoln.” Launched in 2014, the Lincoln Anti-Poverty Strategy has so far delivered more than 110 actions, including:

  • The Lincoln Living Wage Campaign now has 29 organisations signed up to it, accounting for 1,960 employees in the city of whom 194 received a pay rise as a direct result of the campaign
  • The city council funded a holiday hunger initiative which helped feed 119 children from low-income households over the summer holidays
  • 14 partner organisations got behind a city council campaign for Lincolnshire Energy Switch which saw 268 households in the city register to receive cheaper energy deals (in Aug-Oct alone). On average, residents that went on to sign up saved £200
  • We received Health and Wellbeing Board funding to provide free courses for people on low incomes to further their education and training. More than 200 people have taken part so far, with more than a quarter now securing a job

The presentations from the conference can be viewed using the following link LAPC 17.