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Our experience as a voluntary sector of working with people day to day tells us that many households in this wealthy borough struggle with high levels of debt. They simply do not earn enough or receive enough benefits to pay for school uniforms for their children, provide adequate diets for their families or sometimes pay their fares to go to work.
Poverty Watch is a local observatory which brings together the voluntary and community and statutory sector to share evidence on poverty and its impact. The evidence we collect will be used to help influence local decision making. To understand how Poverty Watch works and what we aim to achieve, download the Poverty Watch Framework.
Do you have evidence you want to share? Case studies or the results of a survey amongst your users? We want to collect the evidence which can be anonymous if you wish.
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On 10th September Poverty Watch held an annual review meeting to bring members up to date with the work of Poverty Watch and to hold a discussion on the future of Poverty Watch. It was also the opportunity for members to bring each other up to date with what is happening in the borough and work that is being done to support local residents.
Date of next meeting - WEDNESDAY 11 DECEMBER 2013, 10am - 11.30am
On 10th June KCSC held a housing seminar where 30 people including local residents, the voluntary sector and statutory sector attended. The meeting was held to ensure that a response to RBKC's Housing Scheme and Draft Tenancy Policy could be submitted. It was also an opportunity to put questions to a panel which included Councilor Rock Fielding-Mellen the new Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration. Included in the meeting was a presentation on the future of housing with evidence collected by KCSC. Read the information including housing statistics for Kensington and Chelsea here.
On 8th May 24 people attended the Question of Independence event, a joint KCSC and Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC) event. There were many issues raised that concerns those who are facing an uncertain future because of the changes to the Disability Living Allowance and the Fit for Work Assessments. Read the post event summary here.
More than 25 members of local voluntary and community organisations attended the latest Poverty Watch meeting. Heading the agenda was discussion about changes to the Welfare System. Those in attendance also discussed ways in which they can support their service users through these changes.
The Poverty Watch meeting in December focussed on the impact of poverty and welfare changes on mental health. We heard from Jill Watson from SMART about mental health in the borough and impact poverty can have on mental health. Read Jill's presentation.
Future Dates for Poverty Watch Meetings
A new report, ‘Change for Children – a study of local families in Kensington and Chelsea’ has highlighted the difficult choices facing some parents as benefit cuts begin to bite.
Change for Children was an 18 month study into the lives of families in some of the less well off parts of Kensington and Chelsea. It found evidence that many parents
The Department of Work and Pensions has confimed a rise in sanctions on Jobseekers Allowance, which they claim are meant to be encouraging recipients to continue actively seeking work.
As part of the governments emphasis on 'making work pay' - meaning that it is more beneficial for individuals to be receiving a wage than benefits - the sanctions aim to act as a deterrent.
The BBC has highlighted the three levels of sanction which are;
Stephen Boatwright, Headteacher of St Cuthbert with St Matthias primary school in Earl's Court has said recent changes that are making life in the area unaffordable for many have had a detrimental impact on his school.
Commenting in the Observer newspaper (19/10) Mr Boatwright says the introducition of tighter benefit regulations and the shortage of social housing have forced many families to move to outer London boroughs.
This had a detrimental impact on the schools rich diversity on which it prides itself.
This week (19/10) The Observer newspaper asked a number of experts and London residents their views on how to address the housing crisis as ordinary people are squeezed out of central areas in favour of the wealthy and property speculators.
The following contribution from Stephen Boatwright, Headteacher at St Cuthbert with St Matthias primary school in Earl's Court highlights the impact of this in Kensington and Chelsea.
A report set to be released next week claims that over 3.6million children in the UK are currently living in relative poverty. This is in comparison to 2million when the original Born to Fail? report was published in 1969, examining the long-term effects of children being raised in disadvantaged circumstances.
According to The Guardian, the report's findings include the following;
The Social Council Change for Children project has launched a petition calling for the reinstatement of school uniform grants.
The grants would provide vital financial assistance to struggling parents across Kensington and Chelsea, 70 of whom have had to take out loans to pay costs of up to £225 per child.
In the borough's new flagship Holland Park School parents have been given no choice but to buy a new bespoke uniform which is available through only one supplier.