Sunday - Tackling Poverty within our Communities and Food Insecurity
Dumfries and Galloway Council
During our Budget Setting Process in March of this year, we committed a further £652,050 in funding to reinforce our commitment to further reducing all forms of poverty throughout our Region. This funding both continues to support existing projects such as our Welfare and Housing Options Support Team who help tenants with complex issues who are at risk of losing their tenancy and a range of new projects too.
We allocated funding towards Holiday Food Fund payments to children in Nurseries, funding to increase the annual School Clothing Grant to the sum of £134 per pupil, support for community transport throughout the Region and also funding towards the Taxi-Card Scheme which offers dedicated transport to our most vulnerable residents who have no other method of transport to ensure that they can attend essential medical appointments.
We also continued with our allocation of funding to support the Solway Credit Union and the Stranraer Credit Union who both offer low-cost affordable credit and we again covered the costs of the Membership and Delivery Fees for the 15 Projects within our region who receive surplus food supplies from Fareshare. All of these supplies are then delivered or collected by those most in need from the various food banks supported throughout our Region.
During the last financial year, this project alone supplied £872,874.60 worth of food which equated to 244,402Tonnes of Food which if split down would make 581,916 Meal Portions.
£200,000 of funding was also allocated to our Area Committee's which is currently being allocated to projects which fit the priorities of each Committee to tackling poverty within their local Area.
Dumfries and Galloway Council have a commitment to continue to tackle poverty and inequalities in all of their forms throughout our Region and together with our new partners in our Poverty and Inequalities Partnership, we will continue to support the most vulnerable individuals and families throughout our Region.
Our Council have a Poverty and Inequalities Team who together with all of our Services and Directorates within our Council are leading on the range of early intervention projects and support mechanisms which will ultimately help to reduce poverty and inequalities within our Region.
Dumfries and Galloway Poverty and Inequalities Partnership
Following on from the independent Evaluation of our first Anti-Poverty Strategy, a new way forward in tackling poverty and inequalities was developed which has resulted in a new Poverty and Inequalities Partnership which is delivering our new Tackling Poverty in Dumfries and Galloway Strategy 2021 - 2026. Our new Strategy will be published shortly which will highlight all of the below:
Our vision is: A Dumfries and Galloway in which local action has driven poverty as low as possible and has mitigated as far as possible the impact of poverty when experienced'.
Our Objectives are:
- Outcome Objective 1: Tackle severe and persistent poverty and destitution
- Outcome Objective 2: Maximising income of people facing poverty
- Outcome Objective 3: Reducing the financial pressures on people in poverty
- Outcome Objective 4: Building individuals and communities' ability to deal with the effects of poverty
- Enabling Objective 1: Building organisational and system capacity
- Enabling Objective 2: Addressing barriers to access
We are continuing to further develop the new Structures within the Partnership which include the formation of three new Sub-Groups as detailed below:
- Sub-Group 1 - "Tackling severe and persistent poverty and destruction" and "Building individual and community resilience to poverty".
- Sub -Group 2 - "Measuring income of people facing poverty"
- Sub-Group 3 - "Reducing financial pressures on people facing poverty"
- Sub-Group 4 - "Child Poverty"
A new Independent Chair has now been appointed to our new Partnership. Professor Malcolm Foley retired from his role as Vice Principal and Dean of Business and Enterprise at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in May 2018. He had previously held the role of Executive Dean in Business and Creative Industries at UWS. As a full professor of the University while employed there, he was awarded the honorary title of Professor Emeritus by the University Senate upon his retirement in recognition of his contribution to Scottish Higher Education teaching and research over 38 years. He worked as a member of the UWS Principal's Executive Team for 9 years, leading upon both learning and teaching strategy and community engagement strategy. Prior to joining UWS, he held simultaneously a Professorship and management roles at Glasgow Caledonian University. In his long career in higher education, hew also held academic roles at Heriot Watt University, Moray House College of Education, Dunfermline College of Physical Education and the University of Edinburgh.
Malcolm agreed to take on this new and exciting role that will play a key part in tackling poverty and inequalities throughout our Region and greatly extends beyond chairing the meetings of the Tackling Poverty and Inequalities Partnership. Our new Chair has the key leadership role, ensuring the Partnership fulfils its responsibilities and reports to the Community Planning Partnership.
Third Sector Tackling Poverty Forum
The Third Sector Tackling Poverty Forum brings together third sector organisations, who have an interest in or role to play in tackling poverty in Dumfries and Galloway.
Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway facilitates the forum, which is being relaunched shortly with an invite to any third sector organisation to become involved. This follows the establishment of the new Poverty and Inequalities Partnership, chaired by Prof Malcolm Folley.
The forum will give the opportunity to contribute to local decision making and consultation, whilst also providing the opportunity to network and share experience, good practice, and learning. More information will follow in the coming weeks from Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway.