Salford Health Improvement Service

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Using public health delivery to address poverty in Salford
By Angela Eden, Health Improvement Manager

Salford City CouncilIntroduction

Salford Health Improvement Service is a frontline, neighbourhood-based health and wellbeing service which delivers a range of community initiatives, courses and programmes to help people make behaviour changes.  Our core areas of work most often cover topics such as stop smoking, weight support, healthy eating, physical activity and mental health. Recently the service has worked closely with our partners within the City Council and voluntary sector to develop a strategic approach to targeting the Health Improvement resource to address the impact of poverty on residents in the city. This meant thinking about innovative ways of delivering the service.

There are 30 frontline staff with the Health Improvement Service who have strong networks and trusted relationships within the local communities in which they work. These staff have a long history of working ‘with’ residents to develop community initiatives that really matter to local people, and of successfully delivering services that bring about real changes to people’s lives.

Following a series of co-production workshops with frontline staff, key actions and tasks have been built into the Health Improvement Service’s existing delivery plans, to contribute towards the Salford Anti-Poverty Strategy.

Implementation of actions

Here are some examples of the initiatives that were delivered by the Health Improvement Service to support the delivery of the Anti-poverty Agenda:

  • The service ensured that all staff and volunteers received sufficient training to be able to provide basic key
    messages and referral to Welfare Rights and Debt Advice, Salford Assist, Affordable Warmth and Salford Credit Union. Key messages were built into all HIS community programmes in order to increase financial literacy within Salford.
  • The service used marketing on social media by including key messages about anti-poverty support services to reduce stigma and encourage members of the public to get in touch. This also included the promotion of free Wi-Fi zones throughout Salford. Awareness raising road shows with partners to place on estates with the highest levels of poverty improved access to the above-mentioned schemes. In addition, Health Improvement frontline staff delivered anti-poverty brief interventions when delivering workplace health programmes, particularly focussing on lower paid workforces.
  • The service worked in partnership with the Salford Food Share Network to deliver four ‘Cooking on a Budget’ and two ‘Positive You (confidence building)’ courses specifically for residents using Food Clubs.
  • All staff within the service have been encouraged to join the Salford Credit Union in order to support this valuable resource.
  • The service continues to work to harness the strength of local communities to lead community action to tackle poverty through frontline community development, as well as delivering and promoting activities in communities that provide an opportunity to eat together’ or ‘grow your own’.
  • The service has delivered a Winter Resilience outreach programme to proactively identify and support vulnerable older people who may be at risk of fuel poverty.
  • Health Improvement has worked with partners to create the Healthy Holiday Voucher Scheme for families who are eligible for Free School Meals. These families received a £30 Aldi voucher per child. In the first year the scheme reached over 40% of eligible families.Conclusion

    Agela Eden, using public health delivery to address poverty in Salford

    Angela Eden

    This project has been a useful example of how a service and staffing resource can be flexed to respond quickly to a particular priority, in this case poverty and the growing impact of welfare reform. It has been possible to demonstrate that a public health service has been able to make small but significant contributions to the Anti-Poverty agenda in Salford. The actions delivered through the project were co-produced with the staff who would be carrying out the direct delivery, and as such resulted in a number of practical, deliverable solutions that had the potential to make a real difference to some of our most vulnerable residents. For more information please contact Angela Eden.



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The Good Food Bag

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The Good Food Bag
By Jenni Pocsai, Operations Manager, The Good Food Bag

The Greater Manchester Food Poverty Action Plan (March 2019) calls for local partnerships to set up more food clubs, especially in areas that lack affordable healthy food.  There has been a positive increase since this plan was published and there are now 49 food clubs and pantries where at the time of the report, there were only 30.  Food clubs and pantries help those who are struggling and could end up at crisis point or relying on food banks.

There is a new venture setting out to further help this group of people. The Good Food Bag is a social enterprise partnership between Irwell Valley Homes and One Manchester dedicated to disrupting the food economy, to help those affected by the poverty premium to access good, convenient ingredients to cook great meals at home.   By providing choice with great value, we see a massive benefit for those who may be otherwise at the mercy of convenience foods.

The idea is simple, you can order a recipe kit — classic meals to feed as many or as few people as you wish — via text and pick it up at dedicated collection points close to work or home when it suits you.  We are at the start of a 12-month pilot to see where and how this idea can have the most impact.

The Good Food Bag welcomes a new Operations Manager, Jenni Pocsai.  She comes with a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm as well as a love of great food.  This appointment means we are one step closer to being ready to trade!

The plan is to be trading by March 2020 and we are looking to our partners to help this process along. If you are interested in helping us make The Good Food Bag amazing, please get in touch to let us know where you’d like to see us trading and making a difference to people’s lives.  You can get in touch via our website


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2019 – a busy year but the fight against poverty goes on

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A big thank you to everyone who attended the Learning from lived experience meeting at Church House last week. Nearly 50 people came together to identify the themes and issues that have emerged from projects that sought to engage people with lived experience of poverty in policy making and with decision makers. In total 14 different groups were represented at the meeting.

With last week’s meeting building on the Inequality Hearing project  we ran with Oxfam earlier in the year, and a number of conversations taking place across Greater Manchester about running local poverty truth commissions, we are excited about the role GMPA can play in 2020 in bringing the voices of people experiencing poverty to the fore. The Inequality Hearing project was a 2019 highlight for GMPA, as we continue to grow our work and impact.

It has certainly been a busy year. Over the past 12 months we have shared 22 newsletters with you packed with a wide range of topical articles, opinion pieces, news, reports and events.  Other highlights have included:

•  launching our Mini Poverty Monitor
•  updating our poverty strategies map ,
•  hosting a one day conference ‘Prosperity for all?’ with the Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit, and
•  launching the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Action Plan.

Since the launch of the Action Plan, over 100 pledges have been made to tackle food poverty by organisations from across the city region. We will continue to support the implementation of the Action Plan in 2020.

We continue to host the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign . Our 2019 work on the Campaign culminated with Living Wage Week  in November. Please see John’s write up of Living Wage Week in the December 4th edition of the newsletter.

Our maps  of support services are extremely popular and well used and we have also provided a number of very well attended training courses. There are more training courses on our calendar for 2020 and you can book your places now .

This is our last 2019 Newsletter. We will be back in January, so If you would like to submit an article or event
information for inclusion in the newsletter, please do get in touch. Our contact details are shown on the following page.

We are proud of the impact our work is having, but we know that the fight against poverty continues and that we couldn’t do what we do without your support. Many, many people have worked with us in 2019 to achieve all of the above. Thank you.

In the meantime we would like to wish you a peaceful and happy CHRISTMAS SEASON and we look forward to a NEW YEAR full of opportunities that can be shared equally by everyone.

Graham, Tom, Chris and John

Busy year - Christmas decorations for GM Poverty Action


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Report on GM Living Wage week November 11th – 17th 2019

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This year’s Living Wage Week was a busy one for the GM Living Wage Campaign as we were involved in activities and events across Greater Manchester with partners and supporters.

GM Living Wage Campaign Living Wage Week Good Employment Charter for GM Poverty Action

Chris Smallwood, Martha Crawford and John Hacking

On Wednesday November 13th we ran a joint briefing event with The Good Employment Charter Implementation Unit at Salford Museum. The event was attended by over 25 employers who are supporters of the Greater Manchester Employment Charter and featured presentations on the benefits of the Living Wage from the GM Living Wage Campaign, Martha Crawford from the Living Wage Foundation and Chris Smallwood, MD of the Salford-based Living Wage Employer Anchor Removals. A blog on the Good Employment Charter website gives more information about the event.

At the Living Wage Foundation’s launch event in Salford on November  11th, Salford was recognised for its ambition to be England’s first accredited Living Wage Place. GM Living Wage Campaign is a member of Salford’s Living Wage Place Action group and a sponsor of the Living Wage bid. At the event there was the welcome announcement of Manchester City Council and Oldham Council becoming the latest GM local authorities to become Living Wage Employers. There was a commitment from Manchester City Council to take the next step to becoming a Living Wage Place and the GM Living Wage Campaign has been asked by Manchester City Council to work with them to achieve this objective.

On November 13th we partnered with Boo Consulting, a Living Wage Employer in Bolton to hold a Living Wage networking session. We attended the event along with 10 Bolton employers, some of whom are already  Living Wage Employers and others who wanted to know more. The event was a great success and we will be working with colleagues in Bolton to work towards Bolton becoming a Living Wage Place.

GM Living Wage Campaign Living Wage Week Tony 'Longfella' Walsh for GM Poverty Action

Tony ‘Longfella’ Walsh

We also ran an extensive social media campaign to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of paying the real Living Wage. The campaign celebrated accredited employers and featured key GM figures photographed showing their commitment to the campaign for the Living Wage. We had a range of supporters from local authorities, trade unions, voluntary and community sector organisations and private business. We also had a pledge of support from Manchester poet Tony Walsh aka Longfella. The hashtag #GMLivingWage was widely used through the week on Twitter. We also shared information through our social media networks, to support the action taken by GM Citizens at Stockport Town Hall to lobby Stockport Council to become a Living Wage Employer.

If you want any more information about Living Wage Week in particular or the GM Living Wage Campaign in general then email the GM Living Wage Campaign Coordinator John Hacking

Follow the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign on Twitter and Facebook



i3oz9sReport on GM Living Wage week November 11th – 17th 2019
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Poverty, Destitution and Explotation

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Understanding the vulnerabilities of people homeless and rough sleeping to modern slavery

Exploitation is an under-reported but inextricable aspect of poverty. Traffickers are professionals at turning vulnerable peoples’ desires for a better life into profit through the most vicious kinds of exploitation. While other elements of extreme poverty have been studied in great detail in the UK and around the world, the links between chronic poverty and exploitation are less well understood.

In the media and in public conversation, trafficking and exploitation are often portrayed as crimes that mostly effect people from outside the UK. Whether recent arrests of the Czech sex trafficking ring in Levenshume and Gorton or the tragedy of the 39 Vietnamese nationals found dead in the back of a Lorry in Essex. What is often missing from the reporting is that in the UK, there are three times more minors exploited from the UK than any other nationality and UK adults are the 4th most frequently exploited demographic. Vulnerability to exploitation does not depend on the country you live in, but on the leverage traffickers can use to control and manipulate people for a profit. With the UK’s social safety net stripped in the wake of austerity since 2010, 14 million people living below the poverty line and 1.5 million destitute across the country, the number of people vulnerable to exploitation is huge.

One of the most vulnerable groups in the UK are people who are homeless or rough sleeping. Despite decreases in the numbers of people with no place of safety in Greater Manchester following the concentrated efforts of housing schemes like A Bed Every Night, the problem remains significant and the number of people who are vulnerable to exploitation remains high. Previous research has demonstrated links between homelessness, rough sleeping and a vulnerability to trafficking and exploitation. The Passage in London 2017 report found that 64% of homelessness organisations have encountered modern slavery. The Modern Slavery Helpline reports that 276 cases connect modern slavery to homelessness. In addition, the links between rough sleeping and a vulnerability to trafficking have been illustrated in numerous case studies.

Specifically, Human Trafficking Foundation and Greater Manchester Combined Authority identified attributes which increase rough sleepers’ vulnerability including:

•  A history of mental health issues
•  Alcohol and drug dependency needs
•  Former asylum seeker status
•  Having no recourse to public funds

Between January and March 2019, STOP THE TRAFFIK circulated a survey aiming to understand the experiences of being targeted for exploitation from people who were rough sleeping, homeless, or accessing homeless services across Greater Manchester. Extensive findings from the survey are presented in a full report.

The survey revealed that out of the 180 respondents:
•  29% had experienced being offered food, accommodation, drugs or alcohol in return for work
•  32% had witnessed or heard of it happening to someone else
•  21% had concerns over how safe or genuine these offers were
•  22% had warned someone, or been warned, not to take job offers from particular people or groups
•  17% had known someone go missing after taking up an offer of work
•  24% had not been paid wages that were promised to them after doing work

The report also includes quotes which viscerally characterise the exploitation taking place in the region every day:

“[People offer food, accommodation, drugs or alcohol to me] all the time – everyone who is rough sleeping gets asked to sex work or prostitute themselves”

“[I was] bullied… for not shoplifting. My feet was burnt down and I was thrown in the canal”

Tom Madden Stop the Traffik for GM Poverty Action

Tom Madden, Community Data Analyst for STOP THE TRAFFIK

Having demonstrated the existence of the problem, STOP THE TRAFFIK and GMCA are collaborating on a second stage of the research and a multi-agency response to the issue. We will build a network of organisations working to support homeless and rough sleeping people across Greater Manchester and collate their understandings of the exploitation occurring in the communities that they support. We will then disseminate this shared learning, through training, awareness campaigns and literature to transform Greater Manchester’s understanding and preventative strategy towards the exploitation to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

If you would like any more information about the report or would like to get involved in the upcoming preventative projects combatting exploitation in Greater Manchester, please get in touch by email.

More information about STOP THE TRAFFIK


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Growing food for community use

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By Kalwant Gill-Faci

GMPA’s Greater Manchester Food Poverty Action Plan calls for more food to be grown in GM communities, for sharing with people in need across the city region. In this article Kal Gill-Faci shows what can be done with even a relatively small plot of land.

At the launch of the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Action plan in March this year, I was volunteering at the charity Pledge and I pledged to continue my work helping homeless people and those suffering food poverty through my allotment in Trafford. This year we took on another half plot which we dedicated 100% for growing exclusively to donate to charities that support those in need.

Kalwant Gill-Faci photo for GM Poverty Action

Kalwant Gill-Faci

The Plot for Poverty (Plot 7F) located at Humphrey Park Allotments in Stretford grows fruit and vegetables exclusively for donations and this year we partnered with the charity Reach out to the Community.

Weekly donations were delivered between mid-June to mid-November to the shop where food parcels are made up and handed out. A women-only hostel also received donations this year. Work on the plot is carried out all year round with the busiest months being February to August. I am ably assisted by my 2 children and my nephew’s son and their contribution has been a massive help!

This is the third year that this work has continued and each year the donations have increased. In addition, we received a grant of approximately £500 from Trafford Housing Trusts’ Social Investment Fund which was used to purchase much needed tools, materials and gardening supplies.

I also collect donations from the wider allotment community at Humphrey Park Allotments for distribution and the result is a car boot load almost every week!

This year we helped to provide an estimated 500+ food parcels during the 5-month period of donations.

I continue to share my work as much as possible through social media and speaking at conferences and events.

For any questions or enquiries about my work please send me an email


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Bite Back 2030

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Bite Back 2030 is building a powerful movement of young people who want everyone to be given the opportunity to be healthy, no matter where we live.

Why? We are all up against a flood of unhealthy food, pouring out from fast food outlets, supermarket shelves and school canteens.  As a result 3.3 million children are overweight and the UK has the worst childhood obesity rates in Western Europe

Bite Back 2030 want to close the floodgates but they believe we need to act now.  They want to stem the tide of unhealthy foods and improve the flow of affordable, healthy options for young people. Bite Back 2030 exists to make sure this happens.

Bite Back video image for GM Poverty ActionBite Back 2030 filmed a social experiment that highlights the deliberate tactics used by the food industry to target young people with unhealthy options.

They also held a launch event with many celebrities and potential influencers attending. Follow their campaign on Facebook and Twitter


About Bite Back:

We are here for young people who want to know the truth about how the food system is designed; how we can redesign it to put young people’s health first; and build a powerful alliance that will help make that redesign a reality.

At the heart of Bite Back 2030 is our Youth Board – a team of passionate teenage activists from across the UK who are campaigning for more opportunities to be healthy – and they would love you to join them!

We want to build a movement of young people who can get the big players in business and government to listen and act on a very important topic – your right to health.

We’ve been shocked at the injustices we’ve discovered so far, so we’ve teamed up with some inspirational people to do something about it.

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Pre-Christmas food collection

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Why does this collection happen now every year?

Christmas is only three weeks away. No doubt many people are looking forward to the festive season, perhaps some days off work, time with close family including excited small children and some treats for everyone.  That is how its supposed to be but for too many people it’s becoming increasingly difficult, with more than ever expected to need to use a food bank.  Data released earlier this year shows April to September 2019 to be the busiest half-year period since the charity opened. During the six months, 823,145 three-day emergency food parcels were given to people in crisis in the UK; more than a third of these (301,653) went to children. This is a 23% increase on the same period in 2018 – the sharpest rate of increase the charity has seen for the past five years.

Record food collection for Stockport food banks

For 3 days at the end of November a team of volunteers from Stockport Foodbank ably supported by corporate volunteers from Astra Zenica and the Co-op Bank Manchester, received food donations from Tesco customers.

Collection at Tesco November 2019 for GM Poverty ActionOver the 3 collecting days, a massive 6800kgs of food was donated, enough food for about 7500 meals which has now replenished the food bank warehouse in time for the ‘Christmas rush’.

Stockport Foodbank Manager, Nigel Tedford, said, “We have been so humbled by the generosity of people particularly at this time of economic uncertainty.  The donations that we have received will help us to meet the increase in food bank demand which we expect at this time of the year and our thanks must be expressed to all the Tesco customers for every tin and every packet.  We hope that this level of generosity was matched all across the country.”

Details about Stockport Foodbank can be obtained from their website or Facebook page.

For more information about the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance please visit this page.


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Every voter counts

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Every voter counts – winning over low income voters
By Frank Soodeen, Deputy Director – External Affairs, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

With a General Election looming, Frank Soodeen from Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at the importance of low income voters to political parties.

At the start of this election season the Government re-announced that the four- year benefit freeze would come to an end in April of next year. The welcome move will hardly make up for the substantial losses that many households on low incomes endured in the wake of the financial crash and especially since 2015. But the timing of the announcement is significant, signalling that appealing to low income voters is now on the agenda of all the major parties. The contrast with the 2015 election, when the question of taking £12bn out of the social security budget was a major dividing line, could hardly be starker.

So why the difference? There’s been a lot of commentary recently about the extent to which Brexit is shaking up the traditional voting axes – rather than the conventional left-right divisions and class oriented voting preferences analysts argue that the electorate is now polarised between leave and remain; open and closed; and liberal and authoritarian tendencies. We’ll soon see whether any of these hypotheses are right but what is certain is that politicians are recalculating their routes to power.

Recent research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests that the choices of low-income voters will be a key determinant of the eventual outcome. For several years JRF has tried to understand better what the 9.5 million voters living in low-income households think about their lives and prospects. We do this for two reasons. First, to persuade those running the country to pay more attention to the needs and aspirations of this key demographic and second, to guide our own policy and campaigning work.

Our latest report in this strand of work Every voter Counts, took it a step further, quantifying for the first time the extent to which low income voters could swing the election either way. New estimates suggest that there are approximately 9.5 million such voters in Great Britain, and they are voting in greater numbers. Between 2015 and 2017, low-income voter turnout increased by seven percentage points, the first noteworthy rise for 30 years. And, in a recent poll, 59% of low-income voters who had not voted in the 2017 election said they now planned to vote at the next one.

Separately our research partners at Hanbury Strategy developed an original framework for thinking about the next contest based on seat demographics and past elections. Current polling suggests that numerous seats in Scotland, the West Country, and Remain heartlands may change hands. What happens in three distinct types of constituency in England and Wales which Labour currently hold will therefore play a major role in determining the occupant of Number 10 after the next election. Of these 109 seats, 40 have more low-income swing voters than the 2017 majority achieved.

Like everyone else, low-income voters will vote for parties that are nearest to their values and attitudes, and those of the social groups they identify most closely with. These decisions are shaped by personal circumstances, the health of their respective communities, and the experiences and views of friends, families and neighbours. On many questions about how society should be run, low-income voters don’t appear to have a dramatically distinct set of preferences compared with the average voter. But the struggle of living on less than everyone else gives rise to specific considerations around the cost of living, health, and housing especially, with Brexit being important but not that important to this group of voters.

Frank Sodeen - every voter counts article for GM Poverty Action

Frank Soodeen

The striking finding from the research JRF has commissioned is just how disillusioned many people are. Distrust is high, and the current parliamentary fractures are serving to reinforce an existing perception that politics is not working well for people on a low income. Whether it is ‘a country that works for everyone’, ‘for the many not the few’, slogans will need to be backed up by reality if the voter coalitions assembled for this election are to hold.

The full report is available here


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Kellogg’s Breakfast Clubs

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Last chance for Greater Manchester school breakfast clubs to get £1000

Kellogg’s has been supporting school breakfast clubs in the UK since 1998. The growth and success of these clubs
is a testament to the benefits they bring including attendance, attainment, alleviating hunger and providing
pre-school care.

We offer grants of £1000 and the funding can be spent on anything that help schools provide breakfast, whether that’s crockery, cutlery, arts and crafts, books or food.

The funding window is about to close so apply by the end of November 2019. All you need to do is visit the Kellogg’s website here and go to the grants for schools section to fill in a short application form. This only takes a maximum of ten minutes.

The Kellogg’s Breakfast Club team


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