Watch this: Helping families, tackling poverty in the West Midlands
On Friday 4 April, senior leaders from across the West Midlands came to Birmingham Library to hear about our plan to tackle child poverty and adolescent neglect in the area. Some 175,000 children live in poverty in the West Midlands.
Watch our video of our ambitious new project. It outlines our approach to helping children in the West Midlands, and features parents, young people and our staff.
Building on our 120-year history in the region
Our presence in the West Midlands is not new, yet it is changing.
We began working in the area in 1893 and since then our work has grown to support over 3000 children a year. With our new programme, we are building on this foundation.
We plan to work in partnership in the region to meet our ambitious plan. At our event on Friday, the Rt Rev David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, and Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, spoke to attendees about the fundamental importance of putting the voice of young people at the centre of our work.
Children's opinions lead our work in Birmingham, Solihull
Listening to the young people's voices will be central to our plans in the West Midlands.
We have begun working with Birmingham City Council to bring children's voices into the centre of plans for the city's future. We have also begun working with Solihull Council to launch our organisation's first Children and Family Zone. Built around our children's centres, this zone will build a community-led model for 0-19 provision in a small local area and is about long term investment in an area to achieve change.
Yet we face challenges. Nine out of 10 people underestimate the level of child poverty in the area, and over one third estimate the figure to be less than 25,000 children in poverty (the actual total is around 175,000). Despite these challenges, we and other attendees at our launch event have a clear vision for the West Midlands.
How can you get involved?
We are working to be a part of a West Midlands where poverty is no longer a barrier to children getting a decent start in life and families and communities are supported so neglect is challenged.
We ask you - whether you are a supporter, a volunteer or a partner in the West Midlands - to join us as we work to achieve our vision of all children thriving in the West Midlands.
Please send me an email to find out more.