Most of our service users live in the top 10% most economically deprived sub-areas of Chirton & Riverside wards on the IMD – some live in the 2% most extremely deprived sub-pockets within these areas

Our local community therefore faces a range of challenges including:

  • Impact of austerity – 41.7% of children are classified as living in poverty; many adults of working age are in insecure, low-paid, entry-level work, often with zero hour contracts or are juggling more than one job in order to get by - 55% of those living in poverty are working. The local food bank has experienced increased demand, rising by 26.6% from 2017 to 2018 compared to the previous year when the increase was only 6%.
  • Health inequalities – local people will live around 11 years less than those living just 2 miles away in St Mary’s ward, this is as a result of a mix of poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise and alcohol/drug dependencies
  • Poor housing – 58.6% people live in rented housing compared to the borough average of 34.3%, of these, 34% are privately rented. Housing arrears have increased as a result of the introduction of Universal Credit. The appearance of the housing and transient nature of some residents is also an issue, though there are some who have lived locally for many years.
  • Low levels of education – 32% of adults have no qualifications with a further 18% only having Level 1 qualifications, this exacerbates their employment situation as they are unable to secure better work and remain trapped in low paid jobs.
  • Crime – anti-social behaviour, violence and criminal damage incidents are higher in our community than the borough average, particularly in Riverside ward.
  • Mental health issues - the stress of lack of housing opportunities, reduced job opportunities and difficulties associated with the roll-out of Universal Credit and worrying level of sanctions all contribute to high stress levels & associated mental health problems – anxiety, depression etc. which can manifest itself in higher needs for support for service users personal problems
  • Stigma – the area was subject to a high profile riot which took place over 25 years ago but the community is constantly reminded of this and continues to face stereotyping and prejudice.

Despite these challenges, the community works as hard as possible to provide mutual support and be as strong and connected as possible. In a recent independent community consultation with almost 500 households, local people told us they wanted more things for young people to do; a safer, cleaner environment; and better information about what’s available to them locally.