Friday, 14 October 2011

This Weekend – What is the Poverty Line?

Saturday Unite Together for World Poverty, Local Poverty, All Poverty

October 17 is the UN Day to End Poverty worldwide. This weekend in Surrey Heath, the Surrey Heath Coalition Against Poverty (SHCAP) are commemorating on Saturday 15 October with two events that people can take part in. A serious look at what happened to the deceased of London in 1850, followed by a fun workshop for all the family.

The day, which is commemorated globally, seeks to promote increased awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and serves to remind all people that sustained and concerted effort is vital to achieve the millennium development goal (MDG) of halving the number of people living in poverty by 2015.

Poverty doesn’t just exist in the third world, it also exists locally. Whilst poverty is low in Surrey Heath compared to the regional benchmark, The Surrey Heath Families in Poverty Needs Assessment says: “Surrey’s appearance as a wealthy county can be deceptive”. It goes on to state that there are 1,605 children and young people living in poverty in the borough. The Old Dean, St Michael’s and Watchetts have the highest numbers of 0-19 year olds in poverty.

This week, the national news reported that “UK seeing a big rise in poverty, says IFS”.  What does this mean for us as individuals?

Well poverty is defined as an income which falls below 60% of the median income. The IFS report advises the real median household incomes have fallen significantly between 2009 and 2011. So in real figures, here is the scoop….

What is the Poverty Line IN THE UK?

  • Single adult, no children: £165 per week
  • Couple, no children: £248 per week
  • Lone parent, 1 child: £215 per week
  • Lone parent, 2 children: £264 per week
  • Lone parent, 3 children: £314 per week
  • Couple, 1 child: £297 per week
  • Couple, 2 children: £347 per week
  • Couple, 3 children: £396 per week

As SHCAP start their tour of the 1850  London Paupers Graves in Brookwood, we shall also be thinking about the  'Pauper funerals' in Wales right now in 2011, due to the rise in  burial costs.

Saturday is also about fun and creativity. ATD Fourth World, based at Frimhurst Family Centre, are putting on a creative workshop for the whole family. Refreshments are provided, and a big balloon release will end a day in Surrey Heath, that we spent thinking about those less fortunate than ourselves.

On Twitter, we shall be using the hashtag #SHCAP throughout to day to bring live updates on events, and more information about poverty and what is being done to help locally. More information on the Surrey Heath Coalition Against Poverty (SHCAP) at http://surreyheathcoalitionagainstpoverty.org.uk/