The Tackling Poverty Programme Team worked to give their most vulnerable residents the best possible support throughout the pandemic. As a result of their valiant efforts they won the Excellence in Innovation (Service Delivery) award from the IRRV this year. A huge achievement for the team.
Tower Hamlets’ good news story of 2021
Our biggest good news story is probably the IRRV award that we won for innovation in service delivery. Not only did much of that innovation come from using the LIFT platform, so did the nomination!
The team delivered a total of 102,359 free school meals, reached over 6,000 households with our pandemic food provision and distributed £3 million of support to households for food and essential household needs.
Ellie Kershaw, Tackling Poverty Programme Manager, Tower Hamlets
Learn more about Tower Hamlets’ good news story
As with everyone, the biggest challenge this past year has been the pandemic and associated recovery work. People in or close to poverty have been hit hard in many ways. It was very important to the council to ensure that we have a good understanding of how we can help people to recover from the financial impacts of covid.
Tower Hamlets is one of the most unequal boroughs in the country, so whilst many of our residents have seen little or no financial impact, for many others the additional costs associated with lockdown, in particular when schools were also closed, have been devastating.
Using the LIFT platform has enabled us not only to see who is living in poverty, but to keep up to date with changes in people’s circumstances. Whilst the council holds a lot of data, the ability to quickly run reports to allow us to target information or projects is incredibly helpful to us and saves us a lot of time.
We use the LIFT platform to run regular benefit take-up campaigns to help ensure that people are claiming everything they are entitled to. Pension credit take-up has been very successful for us, with over £150,000 per year claimed so far in additional income for our residents.
We also used LIFT this year to plan locations for our summer holiday food and activities scheme, so that we could ensure we had coverage in areas of the borough where the schemes were most needed. We are currently looking to set up a number of food pantries in the borough and again, we are using LIFT to help us plan where these should go.
LIFT is a great piece of kit which enables us to plan effectively in a short amount of time. But as well as the product being great, so are the staff, always happy to help and to find new ways we can utilise the information to support our most financially vulnerable residents.