More than one in five children in my Barnsley Central constituency lives in poverty.
That’s a shocking statistic.
A decent childhood should be a right, not a privilege. It is the foundation upon which a person’s future is built, greatly affecting the life they will live as an adult.
What can you do to help?
I want to draw on our local community’s wealth of experience and skills to come up with ideas about how we can help tackle child poverty here.
That is why I have distributed thousands of postcards across our constituency asking: if you could change just one thing to tackle child poverty in Barnsley Central, what would it be?
If you just want to show your support for the campaign, you can do so here.
What do children need?
In order for children to thrive, I believe they need to have five basic needs met:
- To be healthy.
- To have somewhere safe and warm to live.
- To learn.
- To live in a community with a strong local economy which supports finding decent jobs.
- To feel supported.
These are important because how you start your life heavily determines what the rest of your life will be like. If you are born into poverty, it’s hard to get out of it. You start life behind everyone else and for the rest of your life you’re playing catch-up.
Yet I have been privileged to meet fantastic people from Barnsley who have succeeded against the odds and gone on to do great things. That determination to overcome the obstacles they faced early in life is part of the fighting Barnsley spirit I have come to know so well.
It’s that spirit I want to harness in this campaign. Whatever your idea, I want to hear from you. Please take the time to read my report (which you can download here) and think of just one thing you would change to tackle child poverty – via our e-postcard. Or sign up to show your support for this campaign and to keep updated on our progress.
The beauty of a place like Barnsley is that, even with the odds stacked against us, we know how to pull together and look after our own. This is a chance to do just that.
Dan Jarvis MBE MP