Plans to tackle poverty in South Tyneside have taken a massive step forward with the appointment of a new Anti-Poverty Strategy Co-ordinator.
Former head teacher Laura Liddell has taken up the role at South Tyneside Council. She will work with a range of groups to help boost the financial security of residents and target support to make things fairer – two of the Council’s key ambitions.
In her role, Laura will co-ordinate all the anti-poverty work being carried out by the Council, the South Tyneside Poverty Group and associated groups. She will evaluate the impact of key projects such as Welcoming Places and give advice and support around poverty reduction.
Laura, 46, said: “As a teacher, I always felt passionately that education was the route out of deprivation and my ambition was to improve life chances and raise aspirations. However, I came to realise that poverty is a much wider issue and needs a multi-agency approach. When I saw the job description for this role I was instantly excited and enthused. This is an opportunity to work together and really make a difference to the lives of so many people in South Tyneside.”
She added: “As a Head teacher, I have witnessed first hand the impact that significant deprivation has on life chances. I understand the challenges that many are facing and am passionate that this needs to change.
“It is devastating to hear the sacrifices that many are having to make and my role is to help. There are so many positive interventions happening within South Tyneside around anti-poverty and it is essential to bring all of this together to make the greatest impact.”
The Council recently established a multi-partner South Tyneside Poverty Group and last month held its second Anti-Poverty summit where measures were considered on how best to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and reduce poverty. A raft of measures has already been implemented in South Tyneside to help people through the cost-of-living crisis. This includes the establishment of over 70 Welcoming Places, a boost for crisis funding, school uniform and holiday provision and Council Tax support as well as support for food banks.
Councillor Paul Dean, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equalities, said: “As a Council we are committed to doing all we can to tackle poverty. There is so much good work going on but it is vital that this is all co-ordinated effectively for it to have the impact we need it to have.
“Laura will play a key role in delivering this vital and ambitious agenda and helping all our residents to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.”
For help and support with the cost-of-living visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/costofliving