Home Start London

During London Challenge Poverty week we were thrilled to have worked with a huge number of different organisations and we continue to be grateful to each and every one.


One of the really positive outcomes was the work undertaken by Home Start London. They did some research which fed into Home Start London’s research asking about the experiences of their families.


Since then we have been lucky enough to continue to work with them and we have now been able to list all of them on Our Give and Get Help.


This information is also available on their directory which can be found here.

Sarah Jones, MP in discussion on the impact of violence and poverty on young people in London

In follow up to a coffee morning 4in10 hosted in early November, I had a chance to speak with Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon who set up the national cross-party campaign against knife crime and is Labour’s Shadow Minister for Policing and the Fire Service. She discussed her experience working to address knife crime and what she’s learned in her role as MP in Croydon.

Our full discussion is available at this link or by clicking on the thumbnail below.

4in10 welcomes discussion from elected representatives from all political parties as they support and collaborate with our network members to implement sustainable, permanent changes to reduce poverty and all its damaging outcomes.

Newham Nurture roundtable

4in10 Manager Katherine reflects on the Newham Nurture roundtable event she attended this week

Earlier this week I had the great pleasure of attending an event that showcased and celebrated the work of the Newham Nurture project. Newham Nurture is a community partnership with NCT, Alternatives Trust, The Magpie Project and Compost London. The programme supports women through pregnancy and up to two years after birth from low income, migrant and marginalised backgrounds experiencing financial hardship and disadvantage. It does this by providing drop-in pregnancy sessions, Baby & Me sessions for mums with babies from newborn up to 2 years, peer support and counselling.

A few reflections…

The project shone out as an example of what good partnership working and co-production ought to be, but all too often isn’t. The women from the project steering group, many of whom also deliver its work as volunteers and staff members, spoke eloquently and movingly about their own experiences of struggling to access the support they needed as pregnant and new mothers, about how the partner organisations were a lifeline for them and how passionate they are about making sure that help is now available to other women who so desperately need it. It was also clear from the discussion that there was a high level of mutual respect between the project partners and local statutory services, with a clear acknowledgement that unless services really listen to and act on what women are telling them then they will remain inaccessible to many.

There is a lot for others to learn from the experience of the project. While Newham’s challenges may be distinctive, there is no doubt that in many other areas of London there are families who would benefit enormously from the support of a project like Newham Nurture. The experience of having a baby can be a daunting and isolating experience for any woman, and if you add to that experience of loss and trauma, very low income, insecure housing, language barriers and discrimination, then this is magnified many times. The event concluded with a powerful audio recording of women who come to Newham Nurture talking about it and what it meant to them. The message that came over loud and clear was that they valued the project not only for the accessible, practical advice and support it gave them but also a place where they and their children could come, feel welcomed and enjoy the friendship of others who have trod similar paths ahead of them. Compost London are evaluating the work and I look forward to reading and sharing their findings with all the other organisations in the 4in10 network so that they can learn from the excellent work that Newham Nurture has planted, grown and is now blossoming in their community.

While the overwhelming feeling I had on leaving the event was one of hope; gained from witnessing the deep commitment that the women who lead this programme have to supporting one and another and working tirelessly to improve the lives of their young children, it was also tinged with anger. Anger that the choices of our politicians are wreaking such damage on these families’ lives and withholding the resources needed to ensure their children’s rights to food, health and education. With no end to the cost-of-living crisis in sight and further cuts to services on the cards, it is alarming to think that the situation for these families will get worse. Drawing on the hope and belief that change is possible, as the project so clearly demonstrates, we must redouble our effort to challenge these systemic injustices and demand better for children and families.

Cost of the Child 2022

According to Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG’s) recent report, ‘Families in 2022 are facing the greatest threat to their living standards in living memory.’ Calculations for the current economic climate show that the cost across 18 years to raise a child is nearly £70,000 for a couple and over £113,000 for a lone parent to cover basic costs. When accounting for childcare and rent, these figures rise to over £157,000 for a couple and £208,735 for a lone parent across the same time period of 0-18 (3).  

Childcare alone accounts for 60 per cent of the costs of raising a child for a couple working full time, an increase of 20 percent over the last 10 years (3). A nonworking parent or couple will receive less than half of those costs covered by benefits and even a lone parent earning a median wage would only earn 88% of what is needed to make ends meet (3). Furthermore, the structure of childcare support and the lack of provision for 0-1 year-olds functions as a disincentive even up until the age of 3 making it challenging for lone parents to increase their earnings through higher paying jobs because they will spend too much of their income on childcare costs in their child’s early years (5).  

One positive of note is the increase over several years of the ‘national living wage’ which the chancellor has recently confirmed to be raised in April 2023 by 10.1 per cent becoming £10.42 for over 23-year-olds (National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)) as well as an uprate in benefits by the same percentage (Chancellor delivers plan for stability, growth and public services – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).  

However, these benefits are mitigated by the existence of the benefit cap which limits the impact and real take home increase these other changes will have (10). The report offers the example of ‘[a] couple supporting two children and living in private accommodation, for example, is now over £350 a week short of meeting their needs, an increase since 2016 of nearly 60 per cent. This is the result of the benefit cap biting,’ a reality even worse for children with a third child, but unable to access further support because of the two-child limit (10).  

Specific to London families, 4in10 has shown that housing and food costs are hitting London families especially hard (Cost of Living Crisis & Children in Poverty: London Spotlight). The cost of a child in London is likely to be higher because of increased costs of childcare, housing and food prices.  

Overall CPAG’s report shows that not only has the cost-of-living crisis hit families hard, but that this is a long-term deterioration of support over the past decade that has snowballed this winter. For families in London, the challenges are complex and ways of accessing support can be daunting and confusing. For the organisations supporting these families, this report confirms what we already know, families are being squeezed bone dry to keep their children fed and cared for, there’s is nothing left in the tank, but the opportunity to provide targeted support to families both from the charitable and government sector is abundant. Children are worth every penny of investment, but we need to take seriously the need to advocate for systemic change in how we give every child what they need.  

London Infinity Elite

Poverty Reports and Data, Funding Opportunities and News

Dear All

This issue has information about the Mayoral elections, the Select Committee Enquiry into child poverty and a Spotlight Interview at the end with Little Village. A very happy 5th birthday to them. They have done so much to help families over their 5 years while exposing the root causes of poverty, we are proud to have them as members. Read on for new reports and useful data as well as funding opportunities and an interesting job vacancy.

But first, 4in10 have a new Strategic Project Manager starting on March 8th. Her name is Katherine Hill and she comes with a wealth of campaigning and policy experience.  She joins us after serving for several years as a clerk to the Joint Committee on Human Rights in parliament, and before that she has had a number of human rights policy and campaigning roles at Age UK, Scope and The Children’s Society. We are excited to welcome her to the team.

Other 4in10 staff news is that Keisha is expecting a baby soon and has decided not to return after her maternity leave.  We all wish her and the new baby the very best of luck and much love.

Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry into child poverty – deadline for submissions 25th FebIt is important that organisations make submissions if you can.  If you would like some guidance as to what could go in a submission, CPAG have put together a briefing based on the main questions posed by the Committee.

The London Elections are planned for 6th May this year for the London Assembly and London Mayor. People must be on the electoral register to vote. It is simple to register online and applications for postal votes are available but people must be on the electoral register before applying for a postal vote. This is a good opportunity to ask candidates questions about poverty and inequality in London. If your organisation is contacting candidates please let us know the questions you are asking them and if you get a response that we can share. (Questions suggested in the link below for the End Child Poverty campaign might spark ideas.)
Candidates are:
Sadiq Khan      Labour  Contact
Shaun Bailey   Conservative  Contact
Sian Berry       Green Party  Contact
Luisa Porritt     Liberal Democrats  Contact
Also standing are the Women’s Equality Party, UKIP and a number of Independents.

From members and friends:

  • ACEVO, NCVO and the Lloyds Bank Foundation have published their final report on Rebalancing the Relationship between small and large charities and how the culture of commissioning impacts on this.
  • Be Gamble Aware and Expert Link have joined forces to develop a user led network of those affected by gambling.
  • Big Issue reports that government is proposing a new strategy to help people on low incomes heat their homes, but warn that people will still struggle to stay warm without a stronger benefit system and help getting out of problem debt. The proposals will extend the £140 Warm Home Discount to an extra 750,000 households,  including working-age households earning less than £16,190. This would mean a total 2.7 million people paying £140 less on their fuel bills every winter.
  • Beyond the Box are looking for young people aged between 14 and 25 and living in East London to attend a series of workshops on cultural programming, leading to possible work on the Peoples Pavilion events and programming. Applications closing shortly.
  • The Bike Project is looking for a new Trustee with lived experience of the asylum system.
  • Bromley By Bow Centre the Working Well Trust and the Work Rights Centre have joined forces to run a free webinar on employment and employability in Tower Hamlets. 4th March from 1-2pm.
  • Centre for London is working with the Mayors Office and others to produce a ‘shared vision for London 2050’. They have created a survey with a wide variety of options as to what matters to you and for London. Please do share the survey with your networks and those who use your services.
  • Children England, Lloyds Bank Foundation and others are hosting a webinar on the government’s procurement green paper as it impacts on the voluntary sector. 25th February 2.30 – 4.
  • Debt Free London have extended their 24 hour a day service throughout February. For debt advice and support call  0800 808 5700. Video advice session online debtfree.london/video WhatsApp message on 0800 808 5700 or live web chat online at debtfree.london.
  • Digital Candle is a free service matching voluntary organisations up with a volunteer expert for an hour of free digital adviceSubmit your question and within 48 hours you will receive an email matching you with an appropriate expert. No question is too broad or too niche; whatever you need to know, they will find someone who can help.
  • Doctors Of The World have published information on entitlement to the Covid vaccine.
  • End Child Poverty Campaign have a template email you can send to your local MP and ideas of questions to ask and how to phrase them. This can be linked to both the upcoming budget and the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign
  • Expert Link are recruiting a panel of people with lived experience of disadvantage and the benefit system to develop a strategy for long and short-term policy change, and lead monthly online forum with local and national influencers such as DWP Partnership Managers, national charities and Government officials. They are running a 2 part training session for anyone interested on Thursday 25th February (2-4pm) and Thursday 4th March (2-4pm).
  • Feeding Britain and Emma Lewell-Buck MP have published a briefing paper on Stemming the Rise of Child Poverty with some clear recommendations for immediate action.
  • Gingerbread and StepChange  have published a report on lone parent debt.
  • Homeless Link are running a survey until the 21st February for organisations providing homelessness services if they have used Homeless Link in any way.
  • Huffington Post have published a piece on the rise in Tuberculosis, a direct result of people living in poverty.
  • Juniper Education Dataset Report unsurprisingly shows it has been the youngest children whose learning has had the most significant drop during Covid, particularly those in last year’s Year 1, current Year 2s. Certain groups have been disproportionately affected by the disruption to their learning with disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs showing greater gaps than their peers.
  • Lime Bikes are offering all London key workers – from NHS and emergency service staff to carers, teachers and supermarket staff unlimited free Lime e-bike rides to help commuting in a safe and socially distanced way during lockdown.
  • Little Village have published their report on the rates, persistence and depth of poverty in families with young children. (See their Spotlight interview below)
  • Magic Breakfast are continuing their campaign to get the school breakfast bill through parliament. This is running until the end of February and there are many ways you can show your  support.
  • Maternity Action and the Women’s Budget Group are hosting a webinar on reforming shared parental leave. 19th February 1-2.15
  • Migrant Rights are running a series of workshops for migrants on NRPF and everyday rights each day from Feb 22nd to 24th from 1-3.
  • Money and Mental Health report the findings from the Mental Health and Income Commission that there is a significant gap in average income for those with mental health conditions and that this has worsened during Covid.
  • NCVO, Nottingham Trent and Hallam Universities have published their latest report on the impact of Covid on the voluntary sector. They welcome new participants in this ongoing study. It involves completing a survey and the information is important to evidence the fact that our sector is Never More Needed.
  • Refugee Council, Coram Children’s Legal Centre and six other organisations have written to the Children’s Minister calling for every unaccompanied child to receive the specialist care they need.
  • Revolving Door have compiled a collection of eight essays titled The Knot, that explore how poverty, trauma and structural disadvantage create and perpetuate multiple disadvantage. To launch its publication there is an event on the 25th February from 11-12.30 featuring contributors and those with lived experience.
  • Runnymede Trust have published a paper on ethnic inequalities in Covid 19 mortality.
  • Small Charities Coalition have launched a new mentoring service for organisations looking for peer to peer support. They also run events all year to support smaller organisations including governance issues, finance support and events in community languages on setting up a charity. The next ones are for health and wellbeing charities on the 22nd February from 10 – 11 and Poverty, Housing and Homelessness Small Charities Meet-Up with the ASA on the 23rd February from 10-11.
  • Sound Connections host the Music and Social Justice Network and welcome new members. Anyone working with children and young people in London through music is invited to join.

Local Authority and Health Statutory Updates:

Funding Opportunities:

Job vacancy at Save the Children:
Senior Policy Adviser and Advocacy Adviser (UK Child Poverty), will lead Save the Children’s UK child poverty policy work targeting the UK government.

Keep an eye out for announcements about 4in10’s new website. The plan is for test runs to start on the 22nd February with the site going fully live on the 1st March. The site is planned to be very interactive and to include the work started during London Challenge Poverty Week, creating a searchable and useful list of the many wonderful voluntary organisations working directly with child poverty in London. We still welcome your photos or videos to share on the site, which we intend  will visually reflect our members work. All material will be credited.

Finally, thank you to Little Village for their Spotlight interview below and if you would like to be our Spotlight organisation in March or April or if you have information to share with our network, please do get in touch.

Very best wishes and stay safe.


UK Poverty 2020/2021

UK Poverty 2020/2021: Why decisive action from central government matters now more than ever for our low-income London families.

“While we have all been in the same storm, we haven’t all been in the same boat.”- JRF

Reading the latest annual report from Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) we see once again that London has the worst poverty rate within England. Prior to the pandemic low-income families in London were already struggling to make ends meet due to an unfair social security system that failed to protect them from the impact of the high costs of living in London.

This report incorporates pre-pandemic poverty data that reflects the world as we once knew it. It shows that low-income families who were already gripped by the clutches of poverty are the ones being further economically affected by COVID-19.

The JRF polling in May last year showed most low-income families on Universal Credit or working tax credits were forced to go without essentials, falling behind with rent payments and pushed further into debt as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s a damning indictment of our society that those with the least have suffered the most over the past decade and are now being hit hardest once again by the pandemic.” - Helen Barnard, JRF

The report highlights groups that were disproportionately affected; lone parents, who were more likely to be women, low paid and part-time workers, including BAME workers, as well as private and social renters.

All affected were likely employed in the hardest hit sectors (retail, food, accommodation, hospitality) as these jobs did not afford them the benefit of working from home.

For lone parents it was sadly inevitable then, that the lockdown restrictions would have hit them hardest not only because of the sector they work in, but also because of the sudden disruption to their childcare arrangements.

“The government continues to leave decisions on the support available to the worst off in our society to the last minute. It doesn’t have to be this way.” - JRF

It’s clear that central government must act now to alleviate the pressure that low-income families in London face on a daily basis to simply survive. Proactivity on their part is needed to address this unacceptable level of poverty. The report highlights the following solutions:

  1. As many people as possible need to be in good jobs. Retraining opportunities should be made available to diversify employability for those who have lost their jobs.
  2. Earnings for low income working families need to be improved.
  3. The Universal Credit uplift needs to be made permanent.
  4. The benefit system needs to be viewed as a vital public service, rooted in the shared understanding that everyone is entitled to have a decent standard of living.
  5. Low-cost housing provision needs to be increased and the gap between LHA and housing rent needs to be revised for low-income families.

We will continue to push for change in these areas with our network of members, highlighting these very pressing issues affecting the lowest income Londoners – particularly ahead of the budget in March. Join us by talking to your MP and letting them know why you want to see action on child poverty. Click here for all the information you need to take part.

Resources for Autism

Great Job Opportunity, News, Funding, Reports and More

Dear All

We hope you are well and coping with where we all find ourselves.

You may have seen that sadly, Laura Payne is moving on from 4in10 to a great new post at the end of January. This means we have an exciting new vacancy for our team leader. Can you see yourself running our amazing 4in10 network, championing London's diverse and tireless anti-poverty organisations, maintaining, creating and developing contacts with decision makers and those who influence and inform them while leading a small and diverse team? Do you have excellent people skills and experience of campaigning and collaboration? Job description is here and the closing date is midday on the 18th January. Please do share as widely as you can.

As before a return to full lockdown means the danger of yet another increase in Domestic Violence. This is an updated list of the help available:

From our members and friends:

4in10 and a group of our frontline medical members are planning a Webinar on the impact of poor housing on children's health and safeguarding and what practical steps that can be taken to change this from a health practitioners perspective. The provisional date for this is the 29th March 1 – 2.30. If you feel you have something you would like to contribute please get in touch. More details will be available next month.

Local Authority and Statutory Updates:
Many London Local Authorities have developed an elibrary service. This gives access to online books, magazines, comics, homework help and more. Examples below of what is available from some individual boroughs but do check your own borough's library website for more details:

  • Barnet
  • Brent
  • Croydon
  • Ealing
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Waltham Forest
  • Hounslow have launched a swop shop for residents for children's clothes and toys and have created a way for families to give away items and request things they need. Send an email with the items to give away or needed.
  • The Department of Culture, Media and Sport are hosting webinars on Winning Central Government Contracts and the New Social Value Model from 2pm-4pm, on the 20th January 2021, 3rd February and the 17th March.
  • The Department for Education has confirmed it will go ahead with previously announced plans to increase the number of free laptops and 4G routers made available to disadvantaged children.
  • Ofcom estimates that 9% of children in the UK (between 1.1 million and 1.8 million) do not have access to a laptop, desktop, or tablet at home and that more than 880,000 children live in a household with only a mobile internet connection.
  • ONS state that only 51% of households earning between £6,000 and £10,000 have internet access.
  • The DofE also updated their guidance on safeguarding children on the 30th December. It now includes homelessness or potential homelessness as a safeguarding concern and requires public bodies to refer families to a housing authority.
  • GLA have a London Learning from Home resource site for parents and children to access resources and help.
  • London Boroughs Faiths Network, the GLA and London Plus are running the pan-London Volunteering Summit 14th January 1.30 – 3.30. Free and online, this will address ways to support volunteers and volunteering in London.
  • The Prime Minister stated that children eligible for free school meals would now receive supermarket vouchers similar to those provided during the first lockdown and during the summer and Christmas holidays. There is currently no information on how this is to be administered while schools are closed. Check individual local authority websites for updates.

Funding Opportunities:

Very best wishes and as always please keep sharing information with us so we can share on...

Laura, Keisha and Liza

PS: Did you see the Member Spotlight in our last newsletter? Do let us know if you'd like to feature your work here too.