Covid has turned our world upside down. Many residents in Kent, as elsewhere, have experienced financial hardship whilst, for organisations, the pandemic has been the catalyst energising them to work differently.
In summer 2020 Kent Districts and Communities Recovery Cell set up a group to focus support to residents at risk or already experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic. Residents unused to facing financial hardship suddenly needed help to navigate support and advice systems. The group knew that things are likely to get worse for Kent’s residents before they get better as furlough ends and families who were just about managing are tipped over the edge.
In a first for local government, Kent county and district councils have boldly chosen to collaboratively share their data to get powerful cross-county insights that will drive their poverty prevention activity. The information will help them to target of a wide range of campaigns to residents such as employment support, free school meal take-up, public health interventions, housing initiatives and benefits take up.
Importantly, the project has transparency built-in so that councils can very easily benchmark with each other to identify and share best practice in a safe, collaborative way.
Listen back to hear about:
- Kent County Council’s vision for greater collaborative working with districts
- Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s impact achieved so far from data-led poverty prevention campaigns
- How councils can use data to target the new Housing Support Fund most effectively
With guest speakers Zena Cooke, Corporate Director Finance at Kent County Council and Jane Worrell, Revenues and Benefits Senior Specialist at Folkestone and Hythe District Council.
View the webinar
Districts have the data, knowledge and expertise. County has size and scale. We had to combine the best of us to come up with something that's going to help many in a positive way.
Using LIFT, we have already identified 299 cases in fuel, water and food poverty and in crisis, at risk or struggling. We are able to tailor support depending on each individual circumstances and people are pleasantly surprised that we are calling to help.
921 households are missing out on pension credit across Kent. That's worth £1,700 per year per household, a total of £1.56m across Kent.