From education to employment

London Councils give projects £1.6m so children and families can escape poverty

London Councils have administered £1.6m into two pilot schemes that are working with underprivileged families and children to help reduce the impact of child poverty.

Both projects, from East Potential and Empowering Action and Social Esteem (EASE), will get £800,000 each to work towards removing obstacles to employment for troubled parents. These barriers include physical or mental health problems, alcohol and drug dependency, lack of confidence, motivation and skills and poor levels of English.

Lynne Hillan, chairman of London Councils Grants’ Committee, said: "In the current economic climate, child poverty is an escalating concern in the capital with 31 per cent of children in inner London and significant numbers of children in outer London living in poverty.

"The effects are felt by entire communities so these grants have been awarded to projects providing support for families and children on the estates where they live."

Through working with the entire family, the schemes aim to support barriers to attainment of young people and children growing up in poverty to help break the cycle of deprivation.

East Potential will work with those on the Cranberry Lane Estate in Newham and the Aberfeldy Estate in Tower Hamlets. It will offer employment support through work experience placements, interview skills and mentoring, as well as working with nearby schools to improve young people’s educational attainment, social and language skills.

EASE will use the funding for its Sustainable Community Improvement Project at the Copley Close Estate in Ealing and Page Road Estate in Hounslow. It aims to recruit and train local people to develop a crèche for children under eight in the community, which will create employment and childcare locally. The project will also offer outreach work to enable families with children under eight access to employment training, healthcare and childcare.

Ms Hillan added: "Tackling child poverty at this local level will get to the roots of the problem, and improve the quality of life for families living in poverty – ultimately bringing benefits to society and the economy as a whole."

Pictured: Lynne Hillan, chairman of London Councils Grants’ Committee

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