Westminster City Council’s Child Poverty Project, the first official partnership between Save the Children and a local authority, has now reached almost 7,000 disadvantaged children, parents and community members in Westminster since its launch in 2011.
Due to its success, this unique partnership model has been rolled out across other London boroughs. Over the past five years, the project has been pivotal in shaping the lives of the local children and families that need help the most.
Key projects at the core of the scheme include awarding Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! grants to 1,675 of the city’s poorest families. 19 innovative In My Back Yard groups have empowered 179 children and young people to campaign on local poverty issues. Moreover, the first Families and Schools Together (FAST) project, an award-winning early-intervention programme that brings parents, children, teachers and the wider community together, has helped over 300 families get the support they need to ensure children fulfil their potential at school and in life.
Jacqueline, who has two sons (six and nine years old), struggled to find time to spend with her children. She participated in the FAST programme with St Luke’s Primary School and now makes time to spend with the family. She says: “FAST is one day out of the week given to being a family. It teaches simple things like communication and using your imagination. It involves the parents and children together and allows children the chance to speak with their parents. It’s really opened my mind.”
The partnership has also created a lasting legacy by helping to develop Westminster City Council’s child poverty policy and practice, and influencing Save the Children’s strategy and delivery approach for its UK programmes to ensure they achieve the best outcomes for children across the UK.
Cllr Danny Chalkley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said:
“It is fantastic news that so many families that need support have been able to benefit from the Save the Children projects. We will now continue this great work so that thousands more can benefit from this programme.”
The Westminster and Save the Children partnership has now reached a total of 6,696 disadvantaged children, parents and community members between July 2011 and December 2015.
Tom Rahilly, Director of UK Programmes for Save the Children said:
“The commitment from the council has transformed the scale and impact of three Save the Children programmes in Westminster, improving the futures of thousands of children and paving the way for us to reach thousands more. Westminster was the first to trial an integrated approach, and this strategy has since been replicated in other local authorities in London, and has had a huge impact on our work tackling child poverty across the UK.”
The project is now going from strength to strength, and will continue to change and shape the lives of families and children across the City.