Call for funding to tackle child poverty

A section of the crowd at the child poverty conference held in Derry on Friday. (1709MM07)
A section of the crowd at the child poverty conference held in Derry on Friday. (1709MM07)

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has called for funding for family support hubs in the city to tackle rising levels of child poverty.

Ms McLaughlin made the call after hosting a public meeting on Friday at which children’s charity, Barnado’s, revealed statistics outlining the extent of child poverty in the city.

The figures show that more than 60 per cent of children in one electoral ward in Creggan live in child poverty.

The meeting was held in the Rath Mór Sinn Féin office and was attended by representative of community groups and local schools.

Ms McLaughlin said: “Sinn Féin supports the creation of Family Support Hubs as an innovate means through which relevant public sector organisations, such as education and health, can partner with community and voluntary organisations in the pursuit of common objectives at neighbourhood level.”

The MLA, who’s on the Assembly’s health committee, described levels of child poverty in Derry as “appalling.”

“Statistics released by Barnardo’s clearly illustrated the critical extent of child poverty in specific wards in the city. 63% of children in Creggan Central live in child poverty; 61% of children in the Brandywell ward; 58% of children in Shantallow East; 48 % of children in Rosemount; and 38% of children in the Caw ward.

“I have had discussions with Barnardos regarding the import of their research and the need for groups working at local level to fully understand the full nature and extent of child poverty.”

“In light of these appalling figures it is imperative that sustainable measures are taken to work against child poverty. No sector or organisation has all the answers but those working together will clearly become more effective in targeting resources and initiatives,” she said.