Plymouth Children in Poverty (PCiP), is all about eradicating poverty in the city. A massive ask, especially when you consider there are currently 11,000 children living in poverty in Plymouth. The Plymouth Fairness Commission report described a “Tale of Two Cities” whereby a child’s life outcomes were wholly predictable depending on the ward they were born into. Today, some wards continue to experience children in poverty levels in excess of 35%. This cannot be right.
PCiP was born out of a want and need for collaboration and encouragement of our private sector to work more closely with the public sector and charitable organisations – sharing responsibility to rid child poverty from our city.
Over 50 corporate businesses, public sector agencies and charities came together for the first PCiP awareness event. Going forward, we see PCiP as a club, with no joining fee or annual subscription, a club of like-minded organisations working under the PCiP banner to make a difference to the children in our city living in poverty.
With such a large scale challenge, in order to make a real and measurable impact, we understand that there needs to be high impact, long lasting projects. To help us to collaborate and work as one, the aim of PCiP will be to link to the key areas highlighted by the Council's action plan to tackle Child Poverty. As such, for the period until at least 2019 there will be five targeted work streams being:
- Widening Horizons – based on the successful Millfields Trust model, we will raise the aspirations of our children.
- National Citizen Service – we will sponsor children impacted by poverty to undertake this hugely beneficial programme run by Plymouth Argyle.
- Dental Health – we will support projects that encourage better dental health in our children. In 2017, over 3,600 teeth were removed from children under 16 under general anesthetic – we need to stop this happening.
- Grow, share, cook – helping families help themselves and deliver healthy meals to their children throughout the year, including school holidays.
- Right to read – helping children develop their reading skills so they do not become left behind, often even before their school education has started.
As well as these targeted work streams, PCiP recognises that there is already a huge amount of work being undertaken in the city in a multitude of ways and we aim to be able to promote this and offer a link between those already doing something to those who want to get involved.