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Poverty: Project working to help young mums in Swansea's Eastside

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

By helen keates

Comments (2)

A MAP of poverty levels in Wales has thrown the spotlight on deprivation in Swansea.

One constituency in the city and county was ranked sixth out of 40 when it came to children living below the relative low income line.

In Swansea East 28 per cent of children are living in poverty — 5,144 in total — according to the Child Poverty Map of the UK.

Suzanne Baker, who works with many teenage mothers in Eastside, was not shocked by the findings. She said poverty was a real worry.

"I work with young mums mainly in the Bonymaen and Trallwn areas," she said. "It (poverty) is a constant worry and stress on them."

Mrs Baker is the support and development worker with the Eastside Family Support Project.

Each month she sees around 200 people or families. The project is working hard to help these young mums break the cycle of poverty.

One of the ways it helps is to show the youngsters how to manage their money and apply for social loans from departments such as housing instead of falling back on payday lenders.

Mrs Baker added: "Lots of the girls need to top up their benefits.

"They see themselves as being in poverty but probably not in the same way as we do because it is what they are used to. They have always struggled through life and they don't think they can change their current situation."

As well as helping these mums with financial problems, they also help them with parenting too.

Mrs Baker said often the girls they saw did not have strong role models to help them through and parenting skills had not been passed down.

"We do sessions with them, for example, showing them how to mange difficult behaviour," she added.

"We also want to give them work experience. At the moment we are going into schools to talk to youngsters about being a young mum.

"Not only does it help the youngsters in the schools, but it gives the young mums work experience.

"We've been to Cefn Hengoed already and we're going to go to Birchgrove and Gower College.

"We are also trying to equip the girls with skills so they are ready for the workplace. We want to educate them to get them out of the poverty cycle.

"And we've got some bright girls, we don't want them to feel like they can only ever work in a unskilled job. Sometimes they lack motivation to achieve, but we want to help them out of that

"We have been working closely with Swansea Young Families and with health visitors to help these parents. Partnership working is very important."

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2 comments

  • tellyon  |  February 27 2013, 2:47PM

    According to the Tax inspectors union PCS, there is over £123 billion in unpaid, uncollected, avoided and evaded tax... It is by far and away super-rich individuals and big companies that are at fault. However, instead of pointing the finger of blame where it belongs and demanding that those who caused the economic mes (the rich!) should pay for it, quite often working class people have been turning on each other: we blame the poor, people on benefits, the disabled, pensioners or people with a different skin colour. Our own Labour council continues this trend with cuts to jobs, to services and increased taxes for the majority. But it doesn't have to be like this. For example, in Southampton, two Labour councillors have refused to vote for the cuts and have refused in implement the Tories austerity demands. Kieth Morrell and Don Thomas have taken a stand and put forward an alternative legal budget. The ruling Labour group there refused to allow it to be even debated! Kieth Morrell said: "The trade unions were instrumental in getting Labour elected and I think there's a lot of dissappointment among members that Labour isn't delivering... Labour promised to protect jobs and to protect services and obviously they're not... There's a lot of union members who are angry, frustrated and probably unsure where to go - they put their faith in Labour... The trade unions should be doing more, if only to reflect what their members want from them" I think these words are just as true for Swansea as they are in Southampton. The two councillors in Southampton are now working to form a local group so they can field anti-cuts candidates across the city during the next election... We must do the same here.

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  • hacker_jack  |  February 27 2013, 9:46AM

    "I work with young mums mainly in the Bonymaen and Trallwn areas," she said. "It (poverty) is a constant worry and stress on them." --------------- No. Hopefully you work with young parents, not just mums. Young single Dads do exist despite the media pretending otherwise.

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