In this section you will find information about the PSE UK team's collaborations in North East England. This includes our work with the North East Child Poverty Commission, a network of researchers, practitioners as well as senior representatives from public, private and voluntary sector organisations working on child poverty issues.
We have also linked up with Children North East, a Newcastle-based children’s charity who are doing pioneering participatory research work with children and young people.
During the summer holidays of 2011, Children North East asked children in local deprived communities to take photos of things in their lives. Of the 11,000 images taken, only one, a cinema, involved an entrance fee. All the rest, like the park illustrated here, were things that were in the children’s immediate locality and free. You can see the rest of their findings here.
Their current project is to develop a Toolkit with young people to help schools ‘poverty-proof the school day’. More information on this will follow, so watch this space.
Why Child Poverty?
Child Poverty is a particular concern in the North East of England. According to End Child Poverty’s annual report, while child poverty has generally improved (prior to the welfare reforms) the situation has deteriorated in the North East. Here child poverty in Middlesborough rose from 38% to 40% and in Newcastle-upon-Tyne from 29% to 38% between 2011 and 2012.
There are a number of other items that the British public think are basic necessities for children including
- Warm winter coat (97% of the British population think this is a necessity);
- Fresh fruit and vegetables once a day (96%);
- New, properly fitting shoes (93%);
- A garden or outdoor space to play safely (92%);
- Children’s clubs or activities (74%);
- Going on a school trip at least once a term (55%);
- A holiday away from home at least 1 week a year (53%).
View the full list of child necessities. The PSE’s research indicates that 29% of children (600,000) in the North East (taken here as Tyne-Tees) and Yorkshire lack two or more of these basic necessities. 21% of children (400,000) go without a holiday and 30% of children primary school age or older (400,000) go without pocket money or savings, or both. Across this region 20% of children (400,000) live in homes that are cold or damp or both.
For a child’s perspective on what it means to be poor in the North East and what can be done to improve things for young people living in poverty, go to Children North East [LINK left-hand menu].
For more information on current debates about how child poverty is measured see the PSE’s response to the government’s child poverty consultation paper by Professor Jonathan Bradshaw. Further in-depth analysis on child poverty in the UK will be produced by the PSE team over the coming months.
If you are involved in a community research project and want to share your findings with us contact us.