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Copeland Council helps tackle child poverty

Members of Girls Gang join Copeland Council in signing the children’s charter. Pictured, are, left, Emma Williamson (representing Girls Gang); seated from left to right, Ian Hill (Chair of Copeland Council’s Child Poverty Task and Finish Group), Councillor Gwynneth Everett (Copeland Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People), and Suzanne Wilson (UCLan).

COPELAND Council has introduced a children’s charter to help tackle child poverty in the area.

Copeland is to be the first borough in the county to adopt a children’s charter. It aims to work with young people and schools to help change attitudes, promote health and wellbeing, give children’s voices a platform and offer guidance on staying safe in the community.

The council will also be nominating a Child Poverty Champion to pioneer the charter and ensure that children are considered in various aspects of the council’s services to residents.

The council decided to join the fight to tackle this issue after a report produced by the children’s charity Barnardo’s – Being a Child Living in Cumbria – raised concerns for child safety, poverty and children’s voices being heard in Copeland.

The charter has been created by working in collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), primary schools throughout the borough including St. Begh’s, local charities such as Howgill Family Centre and local community groups Mirehouse Superheroes and Girls Gang.

Members of Girls Gang attended Copeland’s Full Council meeting this week to launch the charter. Children from local school councils will be invited to attend a further meeting to discuss the charter later in the year.

Councillor Gwynneth Everett, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, said: “We’re delighted to have worked with the local community to create the children’s charter which recognises the importance of putting children’s best interests at heart in Copeland.

“It’s a huge step forward in ensuring children grow up in a safe, healthy and happy environment. It was a pleasure to welcome the group of young people to council to see first-hand their passion and enthusiasm.

“Our children are the future of Copeland and want to ensure we do everything we can as a council to support them.”

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