£1.2m to help vulnerable children


AN 18-month project worth £1.2m will offer direct support to Dumfries and Galloway's most vulnerable children and their families.

Councillor Andy Ferguson, Dumfries and Galloway Council communities committee chairman
Councillor Andy Ferguson, Dumfries and Galloway Council communities committee chairman

The council’s communities committee received a report on Tuesday on the progress it is making on tackling poverty.

Among the updates was a full itinerary of how the anti-poverty money was being spent and noted the efforts and resources being dedicated to informing, including and communicating with stakeholders who directly link into tackling poverty head on.

One of the largest sums of money is the £1.2m allocation to the anti-poverty family support team project. It will be managed by an east and a west team within social work.

The funding will provide support to these families in their homes during evenings and weekends as well as the current support they receive.

A sum of £400,000 was approved to continue and enhance the breakfast clubs in schools. The council plans to introduce free breakfast clubs in every primary school.

Councillors heard the funding would be used to provide breakfast to those who travel to school, breakfast clubs for school holidays and term time and an automatic registration service for free school meals and clothing grant for those who are eligible.

Research shows children, who eat a nutritious breakfast, learn more effectively during the school day so the council intends to assist provide their breakfast each morning.

Nearly £300,000 is allocated to the housing options and homeless service improvement team project.

This service is responsible for face-to-face interactions over housing options and benefits with those living in poverty.

As part of the homelessness improvement plan agreed last year, the council is working towards implementing more than 50 actions to improve the way it handles homelessness.

The funding will allow a more focused approach to be taken within the homelessness service and for more resources to be implemented within the service, mainly to look at the temporary accommodation review, system procurement and the development of more robust procedures.

Members were also asked to agree the anti-poverty strategy refreshed action plan and the programme for the upcoming Tackling Poverty in Dumfries and Galloway conference, due to be held in the Easterbrook Hall on Monday, October 16.

Councillor Andy Ferguson, communities committee chairman, said: “This is a comprehensive report which shows exactly how we propose to tackle poverty.

"This administration is determined to make a difference, a proper difference, to those who are living in poverty.

"The wide-ranging recommendations in the report give a crystal clear demonstration of how complex an issue tackling poverty is.

"We’re dealing with everything from housing to fuel and food. I look forward to the good work, which is already underway, being continued.”

Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 4:00PM
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