FTCT widens its reach on first regional visit to Leicester and meets its first MP too.

Monday, January 28th, 2013 | Posted in Blog

Last week, Anna and I (Jill) took FTCT on the road,

Anna with Jon Ashworth, MP for Leicester South

to visit Leicester, the first in a series of regional hotspots we plan to visit over the next year, spreading the word about FTCT at community level.

Leicester has a strong historical connection to the fashion and textile industry. Once the centre for the UK’s hosiery industry, many families would have been employed in one of the regions factories or framework knitting mills (even today, there are 99 textile factories based in the area).

Leicester is also a region with higher than average levels of child poverty. In the Leicester’s Child Poverty Commission published 25th January 2013, it states that more than 26,000 Leicester children and their families are estimated to live in poverty. According to the government’s definition, these are families whose income is less than 60% of the national median income.

For many years FTCT has worked closely with the Leicester Charity Link (LCL), whose case workers have enabled us to support hundreds of families in the area, through their referral service. It’s with this long standing partnership in mind, that we wanted to meet other service providers and support agencies in the area, to increase the number of families we support.

With FTCT leaflets in our bags, we made over 40 contacts in 48 hours, including the lovely Sandra Carty and Yvonne Fernandes, Children’s Duty Assessment Workers at Leicester Council’s Social Care and Safeguarding Team. Sandra told us: “ I am really excited to hear about FTCT. It opens another area of support to give families in need. We work with lots of charities and this is the only one I have come across for this industry, which specifically looks after children. I think FTCT is going to be a brilliant resource for us.

Also, Amarjit, Development Office, Voluntary Action Leicester, who told FTCT, “It’s great to see an organisation such as FTCT who are so keen to make a connection with voluntary groups in the Leicester area. I hope we have some really good outcomes from this meeting”

Other contacts we made, included, Ashok, duty worker at Youth Offenders LeicesterSharon LeicesterShire Citizens Advice BureauJane Caroll from Girls School Association the Fostering and Adoption Team from LCC and Hannah from Victim Support, all of whom will be passing on information about FTCT to their colleagues and service users.

Co-incidentally, on the second day of our trip, the publication of Leicester’s Child Poverty Commission (25th January 2013), was announced on BBC Radio Leicester, by Rory Palmer, Deputy City Mayor. With that in mind, we set off to the radio station to speak to the news team about FTCT, where Anna recorded a soundbite interview with Minnesh, to be used in news snippets throughout the day. Here’s a clip of Anna in action!

Our final meeting was with Jon Ashworth, MP for Leicester South, who commented: “FTCT is a deeply impressive charity. The work they do is absolutely remarkable and if it didn’t already exist, we would have to invent it. I am really excited about working closely with them and give them my full support.”

Our first regional hotspot visit has been inspiring beyond words. The people we have met, will now be our first point of contact for reaching many more families in Leicester.  We look forward to next months visit to strengthen these new partnerships and build new links, too.

Our next planned hot spots will include Nottingham, Bradford and, Devon, with more to come in 2014. If you live in an area where there are families that we could be reaching, or you know a local charity that supports children and families, please phone us with your suggestions on 0300 123 9002 or email jill@ftct.org.uk.


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