Tackling Poverty Plan to support Sandwell residents20th November 2023
Sandwell Council has endorsed a new plan to tackle poverty in Sandwell. The plan brings together a range of support and advice for residents – building on work already under way to help people find work, access benefits, manage their money and deal with debt.
The Sandwell Tackling Poverty Plan
The Sandwell Tackling Poverty Plan was developed following a cost of living summit held in March, which brought together more than 60 public, private and voluntary sector partners to coordinate Sandwell’s efforts to support the community.
The plan sets out actions for the council and its partner organisations to work together in a coordinated way to address poverty in the borough. It builds on long-standing projects that support residents on low incomes and includes help finding jobs, a network of food banks and food pantries, and community-based advice.
The aim of the plan is to deal with the immediate issues facing residents and then to achieve real change in their financial circumstances through increases in household income and reductions in household expenditure.
The plan also focuses on preventing people who are just about managing from falling into serious poverty through proactive work to support working people.
Sandwell Council urges our borough’s residents to visit the Supporting Sandwell information hub to find out what support is available and to share this information with their families and friends.
Sandwell Council Leader, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael said: “We are proud of the borough’s response so far to tackling poverty and the ongoing cost of living crisis – but all of us recognise that more needs to be done.
“I welcome this Tackling Poverty Plan, which has been developed with our partners, to build on the good work taking place across Sandwell and to develop a longer-term approach to addressing the underlying causes of poverty.
“Together with a wide range of organisations including health and the voluntary and community sector, we are committed to supporting Sandwell residents who are living on low incomes and finding it hard to make ends meet.
“Our main message is – we’re here to help and please seek help as early as possible to avoid any issues getting worse. Check out our Supporting Sandwell information hub or visit one of our Welcoming Spaces to get advice.”
Sandwell has a network of more than 40 Welcoming Spaces, providing places for residents who are worried about the high cost of living. They are open to drop in to chat, join in free activities and get some support.
Welcoming Spaces include council buildings and many community centres, supported by the voluntary sector. You can find a list of Welcoming Spaces can on the council’s website: www.sandwell.gov.uk/welcomingspaces.
Louise Kilbride, CEO Sandwell Consortium, said: “The plan values the role of community organisations who reach people in their local neighbourhoods, provide immediate support and refer to the services they need. We are proud to be working with the council and other voluntary and community organisations to tackle poverty – partnership is the most effective way, and Sandwell residents deserve no less.”
Geri Taylor, Interim CEO Citizens Advice Sandwell and Walsall, said: “The ongoing cost of living crisis is pushing people into poverty where they are reaching crisis point very quickly. The Tackling Poverty Plan in Sandwell will support us to continue to work collaboratively to develop a longer term approach to address the underlying causes of poverty and shape a community where people face fewer problems.”
To read the Tackling Poverty Plan visit the council’s website at www.sandwell.gov.uk/tacklingpovertyplan.