Young people now have the ‘tools’ to speak and act on poverty – with the launch of an Action Toolkit
Today the End Child Poverty Coalition launches an ‘Action Toolkit’ which aims to encourage young people to understand the root causes of child poverty – and develop campaigning solutions to address these.
Government data shows that across the UK there were 3.9 million children living in poverty (after housing costs) between April 2020 and April 2021, which is a staggering 27% of all children. Yet the needs of children and young people are often ignored by decision makers. For example there was no mention of child poverty in the ‘Levelling Up’ white paper, and recent costs of living interventions are being made without taking into account the number of children living in each family.
The Action Toolkit was developed by several End Child Poverty Youth Ambassadors, young people who work alongside the coalition to ensure the voice of 16-24 year olds is heard by those is positions of power.
Amelia Collins-Patel an End Child Poverty Youth Ambassador said:
“When I was younger I didn’t really understand what poverty was, not because I was ignorant but there was nothing out there that allowed education to be easy and fun. The topic is complex, especially with it affecting an increasing number of people of varying ages. As a group of young people, we knew it was important to enable these conversations to take place regarding poverty, whether it is with those who know very little about poverty or those who experience it on a daily basis. This toolkit is written by young people for young people, to enable these conversations to take place, and help young people create actions from their learning by developing their own campaigns.”
Joseph Howes, Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition said:
“All too often the voices of young people are not being listened to by decision makers, or young people may feel as if they have no ability to influence decisions made by people such as Boris Johnson or Rishi Sunak. This needs to change. Obviously, its children that are impacted most by child poverty, and so they must be given a meaningful role in devising solutions to it. Our new ‘Talking about Poverty’ Action Toolkit will give young people, and those who work alongside them, the tools to make their voices heard, and help contribute to this process.”
The Action Toolkit consists of 5 session plans which allow young people to share their own experiences of living in families who may not be able to afford the basics, then take this experience to shape campaigning solutions. It has been designed to be used by youth groups, educators, and anyone who works with young people who feel as if their voices are not being heard by decision makers.