First Tackling Poverty Summit held by Malvern Hills District Council

Tackling poverty was at the heart of discussions this week as part of a summit organised by Malvern Hills District Council.

The virtual Tackling Poverty Summit event, held on 29 June, aimed to raise awareness, agree practical actions, as well as encourage others to be strong advocates and use their collective voice to tackle poverty.

Despite its beauty, hundreds of people are affected by poverty in the Malvern Hills District every year. Last year, Malvern Hills Foodbank gave out 1,400 vouchers, helping 3,600 people in need, twice as much as the year before.

As part of Malvern Hills District Council's Five Year Plan, there is a commitment to work together with partners to tackle poverty through its own services, as well as influencing others to take further action in providing support in local communities.

The summit included talks on a number of themes including how foodbanks and community pantries helped during the pandemic, crisis support and prevention services, providing skills and employability support, delivering quality and affordable housing, as well as reducing the stigma and shame surrounding poverty.

Amongst the guest speakers were representatives from Worcestershire Public Health, the Trussell Trust, Malvern Hills Foodbank, the Department of Work & Pension, Platform Housing, Action for Children and South Worcestershire Citizens Advice.

The Tackling Poverty Summit will be the first of a series, with the next event covering workshops around 'Connecting Crisis Support to Prevention Services', 'Conquering the Barriers to Unemployment' and 'Providing Stable Homes'.

Cllr Sarah Rouse, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: "With one fifth of the UK population experiencing poverty and the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic not yet fully realised, tackling poverty is more important now than ever. It was incredible to hear from so many people who are dedicated to helping those experiencing poverty in our district. These conversations are the first step to implementing change so we can further support our communities".

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