27% of children in our town live in poverty – that’s over 16,000 children. When money is tight at home, a child might not have the uniform and equipment they need for school. They’re unlikely to be able to do fun things in the school holidays and they’re more likely to suffer with mental health problems and low self-esteem. They can feel embarrassed about making friends because they feel ‘different’ and they can have little hope for the future.
Giving children the things they need for school makes them feel more included, more confident, and enables them to attend school more – which all adds up to a brighter future.
Since we launched 5 years ago, we have given children over 600 warm winter coats and more than 2,700 pairs of new school shoes, and provided 3,790 3-5 year olds and 555 GCSE students with crucial learning resources.
In June, over 80 family support professionals from across the town came together for the annual Child Poverty Conference. As well as hearing from experts in subjects as diverse as universal credit, gangs, and homelessness, they made the most of the chance to share their knowledge and experience with each other, to make Luton’s family support even stronger.
This year, this work has been made possible by funding from London Luton Airport Limited via the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation and from People’s Postcode Trust. People’s Postcode Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. On top of this, the project received support from Vauxhall Motors, Mrs B L Robinson’s Charitable Trust, Gale Family Charity Trust, SAGE Global Giving and CDS Action, and will also benefit from funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme and the Foxley Kingham 50thAnniversary Foundation.