Councillor for Boscombe West, Jane Kelly, has called for an improvement in support services in order to help tackle the problem of child poverty in Bournemouth.
Boscombe is one of the most deprived areas in the south west. According to figures by the Child Poverty Action Group 35.58% of children in Boscombe West live in poverty after housing costs, with the figure for the Bournemouth East constituency at 23.94% after housing costs.
In order to improve these figures she said that support services such as children’s centres need to be worked on: “We need to start at the beginning. Children’s centres are absolutely brilliant in aiming their services at things that young families need. For example teaching about healthy eating.”
She also highlighted the importance of ensuring families have the “knowledge and awareness” of support services available in Bournemouth, such as charities and food banks.
Over the Christmas period Bournemouth Foodbank are expecting to provide food for 250-300 people a week, many of whom are families living in poverty.
“A lot of parents wait until it’s gone too far,” said Rebecca Lent, Administrator Assistant at Bournemouth Foodbank. “They wait until the point when cupboards are bare and they’re trying to divide up a slice of bread, so it can get quite bad.”
Boscombe Regeneration Partnership
The Boscombe Regeneration Partnership was launched in 2012 to improve the area and Councillor Kelly said that the scheme is also working “to improve life chances for young people.”