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Designing Out the Most Severe Forms of Hardship in Local Areas

May 10, 2023  
In partnership with

There is an urgent need for action in response to the growing number of people across the UK affected by deepening poverty.

Produced in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, this report focuses on what would be needed to galvanise and deliver on a mission to ‘design out’ the most severe forms of hardship in a local area. ‘Designing out’ is a statement of intent – asking what it would look like for a local area to do everything it can to ensure no one experiences the most severe forms of hardship.

The insight and learning shared in the report builds on research undertaken during the summer and autumn of 2022 with a wide range of people who are working to tackle poverty locally.

The research captured how local public services, voluntary and community organisations, community groups and other partners are working tenaciously and creatively to both mitigate the impact of poverty and attempt to fundamentally tackle the root causes of it. The range of activity happening at a local level can be captured in four key areas:

  • Community-led activity, community participation and efforts to build capacity in communities
  • The network of local support and services
  • The convening of local partners
  • Data and insight

Building on this existing activity, this report sets out a framework to support local areas to make progress towards designing out the most severe forms of hardship.

This framework is based around six key areas of action, which are arranged in three groups:

A framework to support local areas to make progress towards designing out the most severe forms of hardship

The framework focuses on amplifying and growing the brilliant work already happening in local areas to tackle poverty. It also reflects the significant challenges they face in doing this work. Accompanying the six actions are key questions for further consideration – for local partners, national charities, trusts, foundations and national policymakers – and practical examples that offer inspiration on ways to ground these actions in practice.

May 10, 2023
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