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Www.cvsnewcastle.org.uk supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle Frozen in the headlights: being poor in Newcastle 6 November 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.cvsnewcastle.org.uk supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle Frozen in the headlights: being poor in Newcastle 6 November 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle Frozen in the headlights: being poor in Newcastle 6 November 2012

2 supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle

3 supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle Changing social attitudes British Social Attitudes Survey: signs of increasing social divisions, a hardening of attitudes towards welfare support, less tolerance of immigration Scope: discrimination towards disabled people rising as a result of ‘benefit scrounger’ rhetoric, 46% of disabled people reporting attitudes towards them had worsened during the past 12 months

4 Context: the perfect storm Coalition austerity policies Reduced government investment Shrinking public sector Changes to benefit system Changes to tax credits Move to more part-time working supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle

5 Where are the food banks? supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle

6 Food Banks Children’s Society, Brunswick Methodist Church Missionaries of Charity, Durham Street Newcastle East Food Bank, Elim Pentecostal Church, Heaton Road Newcastle YMCA St Andrew’s Church, Newgate Street St Joseph’s Asylum Project, Armstrong Road Storehouse, Tyneside Vineyard, City Road Walking With, Wallsend supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle

7 Other facilities Blandford Square – Hot drinks and sandwiches, Saturdays Peoples Kitchen, The Alison Centre - Hot meals and sandwiches and hot drinks: 4 sessions at Alison Centre plus 4 street outreach sessions Summerhill Square, West Road - Hot meals and sandwiches, Sundays The Cyrenians, Ron Eager House – Food and hot drinks: 5 projects in Newcastle, 1 in Gateshead Walter’s Kitchen - Hot dogs, soup and pasta, St Andrew’s Church (Thursday) and Blandford Square (Sunday) West End Refugee Service – Cash handouts for food Edible Elswick, Elswick Community Garden – Run by West End Women and Girls supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle

8 Findings An increase in the number of families seeking help from food banks (number and testimony) The demand is widespread and increasing but not overwhelming (at the moment) A clear risk that food banks become part of the system instead of a supplementary support service to longer term solutions (policy and testimony) Collaboration, and even co-location, between food banks and other services would improve the overall package of help for clients (testimony) The hard work of food bank volunteers and the generous donations of the public have a huge impact on those affected (reported testimony) supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle

9 Conclusions Issue of poverty demonstrated by need Issue of ‘rough sleeping’ further evidenced Some evidence of increased need for food banks Some evidence of increased demand for food kitchens Food is a problem for families and individuals supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle

10 “Demand has been steadily increasing and the most common reason we have noticed at our food bank is either debt or benefit changes.” – Food bank coordinator, Newcastle upon Tyne, October supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle

11 supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle Frozen in the headlights the key themes Increasing anxiety due to welfare changes Rising levels of personal debt and difficulties in managing debt People disempowered from helping themselves by complex and demanding customer service systems Steady and increasing demand on voluntary and community organisations for support and advice Increasing pressure on individuals, communities and voluntary sector workers and volunteers

12 supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle The perfect storm continues Commission on living standards (Oct 2012) –‘on the UK’s current path, come 2020 household incomes across the bottom half of the working age population look likely to be lower than they are today’ JRF Universal Credit report (Oct 2012) –‘low income families face a significant challenge, women likely to be affected disproportionately, needs to be a more visible ombudsman’ Living Wage Week 4–10 th November –‘we believe that work should be the surest way out of poverty’ Living Wage Foundation

13 supporting voluntary and community action in Newcastle What can you do next? What can your organisation do? What can it do with partners e.g. other VCOs, city council, other public sector agencies, local businesses And what type of support would you need from Newcastle CVS to achieve these actions?


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