Overwhelming demand to tackle poverty in Manchester

19 November 2013

Warmer housing, affordable childcare and credit are the overwhelming priorities for Greater Manchester families blighted by poverty, says The Children’s Society.

A new survey, commissioned to launch a major new initiative in the region, reveals huge demand for help to tackle deep-seated social issues affecting Greater Manchester. 

It’s estimated that there are 150,000 children living in poverty in Greater Manchester – among the highest rates in the country.

The poll of more 1,000 adults, carried out to mark the setting up of The Children’s Society in Greater Manchester, revealed that 94%¹ of adults want high quality childcare and a staggering 98% are calling for clean, safe and warm housing.

The new initiative is being supported by singer Misha B, who grew up in impoverished areas of Manchester. 

The scale of the problems facing children are estimated by The Children’s Society to be among the worst they’ve been in the charity’s 120 year old history in Greater Manchester.

The initiative hopes to have the greatest possible impact on young lives in the area, by working collaboratively and fostering partnerships with other organisations across the area. 

It aims to raise public awareness of the issues around child poverty and adolescent neglect and reinforce The Children’s Society in Greater Manchester as experts on these issues.   

Some of the key issues The Children’s Society want to tackle are:

  • Half of the children living in Moss Side, Hulme, Ancoats, Clayton, and Irwell Riverside live in poverty;
  • 7 out of the 10 local authorities are in the top 50% for rates of children on Child Protection Plans, and for ‘looked-after’ children;
  • 4,500 children run away every year; of these 25% will be hurt, or at significant risk of being harmed. 
  • The Children’s Society has been present in Greater Manchester since 1891 when it opened the Home for Boys in Rochdale and now helps 3,500 children across a range of services.

In addition to operating several Children’s Centres, The Children’s Society also runs services in children’s rights and advocacy, and therapeutic counselling. It operates programmes for runaways and those facing sexual exploitation, and supports young refugees and those seeking asylum.   

The Children’s Society wants to study how children and young people are being impacted by poverty and neglect across the region, and develop ground-breaking solutions to tackling the issues. 

Misha B said: 'When I heard that half of the children growing up in Moss Side live in poverty I immediately wanted to help. I grew up in the Moss Side and Longsight districts of the city and saw at first hand the issues The Children’s Society aims to deal with.

'Young people living in Greater Manchester have aspirations just as I did and so much potential which is blighted by poverty. The Children’s Society’s new initiative provides a ray of hope to thousands of children and their families.'

Rob Jackson area director of The Children’s Society in Greater Manchester, said: 'The results are shocking and underline that there are deep-seated social issues that are having a devastating effect on so many lives.  

'If we want to create a brighter future for children and young people it’s vital that all organisations across the city work together to tackle these issues head-on. The Children’s Society in Greater Manchester is determined to make this happen.' 

Ends

Notes to editors

¹ The survey was carried out by ResearchBods and sampled 1,016 adults over 16 years of age in the 10 local authority areas of Greater Manchester

*These statistics are taken from the End Child Poverty campaign 

For more information on The Children’s Society and the Make Runaways Safe campaign, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508. 

The Children’s Society provides a wide range of services in Greater Manchester, including children’s centres, runaway services, child sexual exploitation services, counselling and children’s rights advocacy.

The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.