Work being carried out in Bettws Early Learning Community (ELC), to explore how bringing services, professionals and families together can change the way children living in adverse conditions are supported to learn and develop, is informing a new national project to tackle poverty.

Save the Children Cymru and mental health charity Platfform put forward Bettws ELC as an example of good practice in response to a call for learning and ideas from independent think tank New Local and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), a social change charity.

The cost of living crisis has escalated the need to rethink how services can mitigate the impact of poverty and prevent people falling into deepest hardship.

As part of a UK wide project, New Local and JRF are investigating local approaches to addressing these challenges and has chosen Bettws ELC to help inform its findings.

It is particularly interested in the collaborative way of working – key to Save the Children’s Early Learning Communities programme – which is bringing services and people together to understand the needs of the community and provide the help needed to ensure children living in poverty can learn and thrive.

Learning from the recent launch of the Embrace project, which is using storytelling to understand the lived experiences and needs of families in Bettws and find ways of improving community wellbeing and resilience, will also be shared.

Rebecca Thomas, Bettws ELC Lead, Save the Children Cymru said, “We are really pleased that our work in Bettws ELC can contribute to this learning exchange and that we can share our experiences with this national project. There is so much good work going on across the UK despite these challenging times for everyone.

“Central to our approach is working closely with families and local services such as early education, family support and health and social care to get to the root of the causes of deep poverty for children.

“This means working in partnership to improve children’s life chances by addressing how people work together across a community and what is going on under the surface.

“We know that with the right support, every child can flourish – but sometimes we need to nudge ‘the system’ to work better. It’s time to explore what today’s children and families need and how to redesign our approach and services to better help them.”

The work of Bettws ELC and the Embrace project will now be used to inform the findings of the UK-wide project called ‘Designing Out Deep Poverty and Destitution’ which aims to show what can practically be done to make a difference.

This will include Save the Children Cymru taking part in a workshop later this month to;

  • share experience and insight on different types of local responses to poverty including support, prevention and community led action
  • Explore how these different types of local response could together have wider impact in a place
  • Reflect on current practice and learning and look to what could be possible in the future

New Local and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation will then publish a report sharing what has been learnt from the project and how this connects to national policy and debate.

To find out more about the project please visit Designing out deep poverty and destitution – New Local

Watch our Bettws Early Learning Community animation video here

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