Coventry City Council’s commitment to increasing financial resilience has seen them proactively using administrative data in LIFT across council teams. This holistic use of data has led to successful take-up campaigns, such as 20% of eligible residents taking up Free School Meals in the first week of the campaign.
Coventry City Council’s good news story of 2022
By using the LIFT dashboard we were able to really hone in on households we could support. We are pleased with the results so far, and hope to continue to make a real difference in the new year. In addition to the data itself, the support of the team at Policy in Practice has been instrumental in helping us to really understand our data and to design effective proactive campaigns.
Joe Sansom, Transformation Programme Manager, Coventry City Council
Learn more about Coventry City Council’s good news story
Around 15% of Coventry neighbourhoods are amongst the 10% most deprived in England. Recognising that these deprived areas can limit residents’ opportunities, we have set strategic objectives around tackling poverty and increasing financial resilience in the city.
As the cost of living crisis continues, we expected that the number of households paying more than 10% of their household income to heat their houses would increase from 24% in summer 2022 to around 62% in winter. Around 12% of Coventry households will be spending 25% of their income staying warm.
LIFT helps to identify residents missing out on welfare benefits and can therefore improve their financial resilience and keep people out of poverty.
We launched a Pension Credit take-up campaign this year with the aim of identifying residents eligible but not claiming. This was an important campaign, as it helps to top up pensioners income and also opens up other help and support such as Council Tax Reduction.
For households with young children, our focus was on identifying households eligible for Free School Meals.
Our Pension Credit campaign has been a huge success this year. We wrote to 320 eligible households, and of those 320 we helped 79 households to claim. Those are now in payment, with a number more in process. In total those 79 claims equate to £213,000 worth of Pension Credit, an average of £2700 per household. We’re forecasting that 128 households in total will be claiming by the end of our financial year, taking the total to £345,000.
As Pension Credit is a benefit that people retain over a number of years, we estimate that the lifetime economic impact of the campaign will run into the millions.
One case that highlights the impact of the campaign is of a single gentleman who had been living on £55 per week for a number of years. Once he was identified via LIFT as eligible for Pension Credit, he was supported with his application and was awarded £138 a week or £7,176 a year. A huge increase to what he had been living on.
He was also awarded £1,794 in backdated benefits, and by claiming Pension Credit became eligible for the £650 Cost of Living payment too.
We have a number of key focuses moving forward. Firstly, Free School Meals (FSM). By cross-referencing LIFT datasets with our own database, we were able to identify 560 households eligible for but not claiming FSM.
We started our campaign on 2nd December by contacting those 560 households, and saw 100 claims as a result within the first week. An amazing start to a timely campaign.
We have also recently begun campaigns around EL2 and 3 to 4 childcare funding, as well as work around homelessness prevention which we plan to develop in the new year.
All of this work runs across various teams including Revs and Bens, Children’s Services, Customer Services, Housing & Homelessness and Data & Insight, as well as independent advice agencies. We’ve demonstrated that LIFT is a tool that can be used across teams and departments to help deliver impactful results.