12th Nov, 2018

Final plan drawn up to help children and families on Droitwich's Westlands estate get a better start in life

A SOCIAL Mobility Action Plan has been drawn up aimed at improving the lives of children and families living in disadvantaged areas of Wychavon, including on Droitwich’s Westlands estate.

The £50,000 scheme would see a number of actions taken to help those in need.

Education support experts from Babcock Prime would be brought in to help families improve their lives, at a cost of £10,000, and £20,000 would be invested in providing positive activities in the chosen areas, along with free school meals for children and their families.

The remaining £20,000 would provide small social mobility grants over three years to fund positive activities for children outside term-time, such as free swims for families on the Westlands.

And discussions have taken place about a pilot scheme involving local businesses working with first and middle schools in Droitwich to improve skills.

Over the summer councillors and representatives from other agencies came together to discuss the best ways to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds get the best possible start in life.

It was decided to set up a bespoke three-year programme of family support for early years children.

It was mooted that social mobility was often not down to ‘poor parenting’ but could be where children live and the influences they are surrounded by.

It was important to help and educate youngsters from an early age to give them the best possible start in life.

Wychavon District Council leader Coun Linda Robinson said: “The message was very clear that to make the most impact we needed to intervene early on in a child’s life.

“Our Social Mobility Action Plan is our response to that feedback and I’m confident councillors will give it their full support as well as back the proposed additional £20,000 investment to help fund the work of local community groups tackling this issue, on top of the £30,000 we have already committed.

“Social mobility is a district-wide issue.

“Ensuring everyone has the opportunity to build a good life for themselves regardless of their family background is important to us.

“If you choose to make a life for yourself in Wychavon, we want that to be a good life and for people to reach their full potential.”

The plan will be presented to the Wychavon executive board on Wednesday night.

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