Award success for County Council’s work tackling poverty

County Hall, Matlock.
County Hall, Matlock.

Derbyshire County Council has been recognised for its work tackling poverty and health inequalities across the county.

The council has won two awards at the Public Health in the East Midlands Celebration and Recognition event.

The first award is for Public Health Advocacy - for the director of health’s annual Public Health Report which emphasises that poverty is a large contributor to ill health.

The report looks at the health impacts of four key areas: Improving financial inclusion, reducing child poverty, the importance of the economy and work and reducing the impact of cold weather.

The second award is for Tackling the Social Determinants of Health - for a project introducing weekly Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) services into 54 children centres across Derbyshire.

In Derbyshire nearly 23,000 children under the age of 16 live in poverty.

The aim of the CAB project is to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of disadvantaged children and their families.

CAB offers practical advice and support to families on issues including poverty, debt, homelessness, domestic abuse and unemployment.

The scheme was set up ten months ago and so far has helped 2,397 families, secured £1.8 million of extra income for Derbyshire families and managed £800,000 of debt.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Dave Allen said: “There is a lot of evidence showing that poverty and financial exclusion have a negative effect on health.

“Poverty and poor health is a vicious cycle; poverty causes poor health and poor health in turn causes poverty.

“Our aim is to help break that cycle, make health fairer and ensure that everyone has easy, convenient access to services that can help them.

“We are pleased that we have received recognition for the work that we are carrying out and we will continue to do all we can to make sure that vulnerable families receive the help they need to improve their health and wellbeing.”

The council supports a variety of anti-poverty schemes around the county including supporting local credit unions and food banks, encouraging the uptake of unclaimed benefits and introducing breakfast clubs in schools.

The awards ceremony will take place today (Friday 6th March).