Children's communities

Ensuring local children get the support they need

Evidence shows that to make a big difference to children growing up in poverty, it is essential to intervene early and work across all areas of their lives.

It’s been known for a long time that young children from poorer communities tend to do less well than those from wealthier backgrounds, both in school and in the world of work.

We also know that poverty is often concentrated in particular areas. That’s why we’ve created Children’s Communities.

Based on the Harlem Children’s Zone in the USA, we’re focusing on some of the most deprived areas in the UK with the aim of improving the future of every child in these communities.

How do Children’s Communities work?  

Children’s Communities strengthen partnerships between key agencies and individuals in the UK’s most deprived communities.

This includes parents, headteachers, GPs, Sure Start centre managers, health visiting leads, senior youth workers, housing managers, family support workers and parent employment advisers.

Working with these partners, we find out how local and social factors shape the lives of children in their communities. By understanding the specific challenges faced by children in their area, we can make long-term plans and a network of activities to improve their lives.

Where we're working

In 2016, we launched our first Children’s Communities in Wallsend in North Tyneside and Pembury in Hackney, London. Smallshaw-Hurst, in Tameside, became our third Children’s Community in 2017.

In Wallsend a network of 13 primary and two secondary schools have joined forces to develop and deliver a raft of activities and services supporting children’s needs.

The Wallsend Children’s Community believes that to improve outcomes for its children and young people, it needs to be able to provide them with the same ‘offer’ as those in more advantaged areas.

In Pembury, a range of agencies, including Peabody Housing Association and Hackney Council, have come together to ensure that the varied support available to children and families is well integrated and easy to access.

In Smallshaw-Hurst we are bringing together a local housing association, schools, and the Tameside local authority to focus on public health and early years services. By acting together, these partners can oversee a much more powerful, coordinated strategy for improving children’s lives than would be possible if they worked as individual organisations.

So far, our main focus has been on the early years and primary school stages, as well as support for parents.

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Children's Community Network

For more information, visit the Children's Community Network.

Our partners

This ambitious programme is a partnership between local communities, Save the Children and academics from Sheffield Hallam University.

We're also being supported by a coalition of funders, including the Ballinger Charitable Trust, the Fidelity UK Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Lankelly Chase Foundation and the Oak Foundation.

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