Where the extraordinary happens – Plymouth Children in Poverty event

Father Sam Philpott is pictured with Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Nick Kelly.

More than 50 businesses, public sector agencies and charities came together for a ‘Plymouth Children in Poverty’ awareness event on 23 March, held at The Beacon Hub and facilitated by Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC).

Child poverty is a significant issue in Plymouth with the 2014 Fairness Commission Report highlighting how the life outcomes of children were wholly predictable, depending on which ward in the city they were born into, with some wards in Plymouth experiencing child poverty levels in excess of 35 per cent.

Commenting on the event, PwC director Steve Patey, said: “It was amazing to see the level of collaboration amongst so many organisations. Plymouth is a great city but we have a poverty issue that many are simply not aware of.

“By raising awareness and working together, we can make a difference to ease, if not eradicate, child poverty in the city. The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, issued a personal message of support for the event highlighting the importance of tackling the issues that blight so many childhoods. I was proud that PwC was given the opportunity to facilitate the event – it was a team effort all round”.

Father Sam Philpott, former Fairness Commissioner and currently Plymouth’s Independent Champion for Children in Poverty, said: “This is certainly where the extraordinary does happen. One hopes that, with the support and help of local corporates, our joint action can make the difference that will significantly improve the lives of our poorest children.”

Darin Halifax, Senior Policy Advisor at Plymouth City Council, said: “I am delighted that PwC has led from the front in this important issue and that the firm has encouraged local businesses to work with the council to address child poverty in our city. It is important that we continue to work together to support our most disadvantaged communities and this event is an important step in making this partnership work happen.”

Speakers from Plymouth City Council, Devon & Cornwall Police, Plymouth Community Homes and various key charities all highlighted the issues impacting child poverty in Plymouth. The business community is now looking to see what actions are needed and how they can become involved and support the council to really make a difference to the lives of Plymouth’s children and young people.

Steve Patey from PwC addresses delegates at the Child Poverty event.