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In communities

Empowering Local People

With the right support, every child should flourish. We want to ensure help is at hand for children who are growing up in poverty, across all areas of their lives.

We work with communities in the UK to ensure children have the money, services, and power to end child poverty. We strive to build communities of people who care about children, listen to what’s important to them and work together to make things better.

We have produced a resource with a collection of stories that serve as an introduction to our work with communities in the UK. 

We hope this collection will give you an insight into our work with communities across the UK and the journey we’ve taken. 

We’ve also summarised our main place-based activities below. Place-based means working in a particular geographical location, such as a neighbourhood or local area. The work is then focused on bringing together people in that community to bring about positive change by identifying, understanding and addressing social issues. We've been working in this way for a long time now and have learned a lot along the way.  

Children's Communities

Our Children’s Communities programme gets organisations and agencies working together to make sure there are no gaps for children to fall through. 

We empower local agencies to create a support chain that makes sure help is at hand for our poorest children - whatever stage of their development they need it.

Right now, we're focused on two Children's Communities in England, and we're working to take the approach to more areas across the UK.

Early Learning Communities

Our Early Learning Communities programme aims to improve early learning outcomes for children growing up in poverty in the UK.

It builds on the evidence base and knowledge of local services, organisations and families in four communities in England and Wales: Feltham (West London), Margate, Bettws (Wales) and Sheffield. Since then, we've also established an ELC in East Belfast in Northern Ireland. Together, we're exploring how a whole system approach can fundamentally change the way children living in poverty are supported to learn and develop.

We teamed up with Dartington Service Design Lab and partners who carried out an Evidence Review and produced a toolkit that guides our approach. We’ve learned a lot from using the toolkit in communities, which you can read about in our 2019 process evaluation report.

We also commissioned learning and evaluation partners, Collaborate and NPC, to undertake a four-year evaluation of our ELC work in England and Wales which captures key insights. This was conducted in discussion with staff, partners and families in each community. 

Published in August 2023, the findings cover our ELC work from 2020-23 and contains some of the tools and approaches we've used. We hope that it can contribute to collective knowledge around what it takes to change local systems.

It is anticipated that the experiences from our ELC work will offer valuable insights that are relevant to other local systems change initiatives across the UK, particularly those with a focus on the early years. 

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