The fund is part of North Tyneside Council’s budget for 2020/2021. It aims to help reduce the impacts of poverty on families and individuals and address the many different ways living in poverty can affect people.
A report to go before the council’s Cabinet on September 21 recommends four initiatives to receive funding in phase one.
Proposals include a scheme to extend ‘poverty proofing’ measures to every school in the borough, in partnership with children North East. The scheme helps to identify and break down barriers to education caused by poverty and has been running successfully in a number of North Tyneside schools since 2011.
Additionally, families who are entitled to free school meals would receive help with the cost of school clothing, including winter coats and shoes, as well as free food and meals during school holidays.
A benefits take-up campaign will help people, especially older people, navigate the benefits system and make sure they are claiming money that is rightfully theirs.
The council has been working in partnership with a range of stakeholders to determine how best to target the funding and get a clearer picture of poverty in the borough.
In North Tyneside, an estimated 31.4% of children were living in poverty in 2017/18 and there are currently 5641 children who are entitled to free school meals due to low income.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that in North Tyneside, at key stage 4, the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils widened in 2019 and was larger than the national gap.