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Posted on 27th February, 2014 by Lincoln Against Poverty
More than 100 people representing charities, voluntary organisations, schools and councils attended the first Lincoln Poverty Conference.
The event, organised by City of Lincoln Council’s Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee, looked at the issue of poverty and its significant effects on the lives of people in the city, after it was found that one in four children live in poverty and one in five households are estimated to be in fuel poverty.
The problems faced by families every day has led to an unprecedented demand on services, such as food banks and financial advice.
The aim of the event, which took place on Wednesday, February 26, was to focus on how, by working together, the council and partners can approach the issue of poverty in a fresh way. The conference was the culmination of nine months work by the committee examining all aspects of poverty as it impacts people in the city.
The conference marks the start of the next part of the process. Work arising from the conference over the next few weeks will involve working very closely with individual partners to create an action plan that will address any gaps in provision, remove duplication of effort between partners, and try some new approaches that will make a difference. This work is not about large, high profile, expensive initiatives centred on growing the city over the longer term – this is happening through the separate but joined work on a Growth Strategy for the city. The work on the poverty strategy is about developing new approaches together to incrementally alleviate the impact of poverty for people today.
A number of breakout workshops took place at the conference, covering topics such as low income, accessing work, child poverty, housing, older people and health with the focus on how we can make a difference for people.
Councillor Karen Lee, Chair of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee, said: “I found the day extremely productive and was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and energy in the room from all 120 delegates representing over 50 organisations – all trying their very best in their own roles to help people suffering poverty.
“The clear message I have received from delegates today is that the conference was very much needed and has helped to bring organisations together to look at ways we can all do things differently and close any gaps in service provision to those people in most need of our support.
“There emerged a very clear desire to make this event annual to build on the good work that is already happening, and ensure the new initiatives that will happen as a result of the conference are progressed.
“I am passionate about making a difference for people facing the daily challenges of living on very limited income, so the focus of the scrutiny committee will now turn to working with partners to turn the many fantastic ideas developed into schemes to benefit people in our local communities.”
Lincoln Poverty Conference has proved to be such a success that delegates voted unanimously for it to be held each year.
Feedback from this year’s event will now be looked at in close detail and an anti-poverty strategy will be formed over the coming months.