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Calls for public information campaign on support available to families in poverty

November 23rd 2020

Bevan Foundation joins members of the Welsh Anti-Poverty Coalition calling on the Welsh Government to run a public information campaign on the support that’s available to families in poverty.

A picture of money

As we enter the winter months, the next few weeks are likely to be a challenge for everyone in Wales. This challenge is likely to be especially pronounced for those in poverty. A loss of earnings on the one hand and rising living costs on the other is stretching family resources to the limit. With some facing the very real threat of having to go without food or heating this winter, it is vital that families receive every penny of support they are entitled to. This is why the Bevan Foundation has joined with other members of the Welsh Anti-Poverty Coalition to call on the Welsh Government to run a public information campaign, so that families in poverty are aware of all the support that is available this winter.

Whilst schemes such as the Discretionary Assistance Fund, Free School Meals, Healthy Start Vouchers and the Council Tax Reduction Scheme offer valuable support to thousands of Welsh families, a large number of people are not receiving all the support that they are entitled to. This means that millions of pounds that could be providing support to families this winter remains unclaimed, meaning that some families may be struggling unnecessarily.

Recent research undertaken by the Bevan Foundation has highlighted that there is more than one reason why families don’t claim all the support they are entitled to. Stigma, complicated application processes and arbitrary eligibility criteria are all barriers that prevent families from getting the support they are entitled to. This is why the Bevan Foundation has called on the Welsh Government to pull all of its various support schemes together and reform them to establish a Welsh Benefits System that provides improved support to families.

Another reason why some families miss out on support however is a lack of awareness on what support is available to them. Given that there may be families in Wales struggling today simply because they don’t know what support is already available to them, the Welsh Anti-Poverty Coalition has published an open letter to the First Minister, urging him to support a Wales wide communications campaign as a matter of urgency.

You can read the letter in full here.

There are a number of actions we can take to assist families in poverty this winter. Making it a priority that families are aware of the support that is already available should be close to the top of that list.

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