Third of Sheffield children live in poverty

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Almost a third of young children in Sheffield are living in poverty, according to a new plan aimed at tackling the problem.

Plans before Sheffield Council cabinet next week also say one in five Sheffield adults are living in poverty – with numbers set to rise in coming years.

A ‘refreshed’ Tackling Poverty strategy – developed by a partnership led by the council and chaired by Sheffield Cathedral Dean Reverend Peter Bradley – sets priorities for action over the next three years.

They include simplifying financial support provided to people in crisis, protecting access to advice services and making sure there is ‘full postcode coverage’ of food banks in the city.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “Poverty is hitting people hard in Sheffield and in many different ways – rising bills, stagnating wages, reductions to benefits and cuts to public services.

“What is deeply upsetting is our city’s children are among those most affected.

“We know those first few months and years of life are so important and we all want to give our children a great start. This is much harder when families are concentrating on making ends meet.

“Parents often act as the ‘shock absorbers’ – going without themselves, and we know that women are particularly affected.

“We need to give them our support and do everything we can to make life easier for people who are struggling to get by.”

Increasing access to affordable credit and paying directly employed council staff the living wage are also included in the strategy.

The Rev Bradley, Sheffield Executive Board’s lead member on poverty, said: “Through this strategy, the whole city will be working together to support Sheffielders in poverty, especially children.”