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Support groups asked to help shape new poverty research

10 May 2021

Local and regional organisations are being asked to contribute to  new research exploring the level of support currently available to vulnerable people in the Derry and Strabane area, to help develop greater understanding of local needs and also to shape any future local interventions through a Hardship Fund.

The study is being led by Derry City and Strabane District Council, working in partnership with the Strategic Investment board. The work includes undertaking a survey with local and regional support providers who are being asked to provide more information about their services and the level of need in local areas.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Brian Tierney, today encouraged groups to participate in the study. "In recent months Council has been working closely with a range of organisations to gain a fuller picture of the levels of poverty affecting people in our Council area," he explained.

"This is an extensive piece of work and we recognize the need for a joined up approach developed in conjunction with organisations who are already tackling this issue on the ground. Sadly the Covid19 pandemic has further exacerbated what was already a significant problem and it's hoped the research now underway will help create a profile of future need that will help shape our approaches.

"It will inform the scope and the focus of Council's Hardship Fund and ensure it is being targeted where it is most needed. I would ask all organisations to share their own insight into this issue and how it is being dealt with in specific community areas, so we can draw on all the knowledge and expertise that's available to define our strategy going forward."

The study will run until June 2021 and will complement the work of the Anti-Poverty Expert Advisory Panel currently advising the Department for Communities on the direction and development of a new Anti-Poverty Strategy for N. Ireland. The work also aligns with the priorities set out within the Strategic Growth Plan for Derry and Strabane.

There will be particular focus on the experiences of groups involved in the delivery of aid during the Covid crisis and how communities had to adapt their responses to both food and financial hardship in the most extreme circumstances.

Local support groups are asked to complete a ten minute online questionnaire available at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3W8QWHZ