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Council line up series of events to Challenge Poverty

Posted on 11 Oct 2017

A week-long series of events take place next week as the Council ramps up its bid to reduce inequality and poverty in North Ayrshire.

The campaign coincides and supports the Poverty Alliance’s ‘Challenge Poverty Week’ – Oct 15-21 – which is a nationwide initiative to raise awareness of the existence of poverty in our communities.

Here in North Ayrshire, Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, Provost Ian Clarkson, other elected members, Council officers and partners will be getting behind the campaign AND launching some fresh, initiatives that will help address poverty and, ultimately, reduce it.

 Cllr Cullinane said: “Poverty is clearly an issue in North Ayrshire – there is no getting away from that.

“Challenge Poverty Week gives us an opportunity to highlight the reality of living in poverty but more importantly it shines a light on the work being done to address it.

“Last year was the first time the Council took part and this year we are really throwing our weight behind it. It also gives us an opportunity, when the spotlight is on Poverty, to launch some pretty ground-breaking and game- changing initiatives we hope will make a difference to the situation here in North Ayrshire.

“We are also urging the public to come along to any of the events and seek out the advice that is available to them. We are here to help and we are here to try and make a difference.”

Events are taking place across the region and kicking things off on Monday will be the ‘AYE WE CAN’  Challenge Poverty Conference, featuring a range of speakers, at the newly-opened Fullarton Community Hub.

Later that afternoon, the Launch of Better Off North Ayrshire takes place at the Playz Community Centre in Pennyburn. This is a one-stop shop – consisting of the Council and a range of partners - that helps people on low incomes or out of work improve their financial circumstances.

On the same day, the Provost will launch his Ayrshire Foodbank Appeal – a campaign he hopes will see hundreds of items of food donated to the charity.

There will be Better Off Roadshows in Irvine Rivergate Centre and Asda in Ardrossan from 11am-2pm on the Tuesday. Experts will be on hand to provide advice on debt, budgeting, affordable credit, digital help, online banking and digital comparison sites. The roadshows will also give the Council a chance to promote their Better Off website ( and show residents how easy it is to navigate and how it can help them.

The official opening of the new Fullarton Employability Hub takes place on the Wednesday, while the Council’s Housing Support Team will be at Bridgegate House from 11.30am-2pm offering advice about Welfare Benefit, Housing Benefit, Scottish Welfare Fund and accessing support in the community.

There will be another Better Off roadshow on Thursday in Tesco Kilbirnie, before the finale in Friday which will include a fantastic ‘Aye We Can Cook’ event at the Rivergate Centre in Irvine. This will feature live cookery demonstrations from our Catering team who will show how you can feed a family for a fiver.

Diary of events – Challenge Poverty Week

Monday – 16 October

Local Energy Advice Forum Roadshow

Bridgegate House - 11.30am-2.30pm

Drop-in Stalls with staff from Council’s sustainable team, North Ayrshire Tenant Participation team, Home Energy Scotland, Public Health’s Hospital Links Practitioner, Scottish Fire and Rescue and our Participation and Empowerment team.

Tuesday – 17 October

Better Off Roadshows

Rivergate Mall, Irvine, and Asda, Ardrossan - 11.30am – 2pm at both locations.

Drop-in stalls offering money management advice (including debt, benefits and budgeting), affordable credit and goods, fuel advice, Digital help (promotion of BetteroffNorthAyrshire.com, online banking, digital comparison sites etc)

Victim Support Stall

Bridgegate House, Irvine - 12noon-2.30pm

Drop in stall supporting people to apply for Criminal Injuries Compensation, The Welfare Fund, The Victims Fund, Better Off North Ayrshire, The Food Bank, Hillhouse, Aims Advocacy, Furniture, Housing Applications, G.P.  CMHT appointments, Credit Union Bank Account, Personal  alarms, Citrus Energy, Appointments with Local Councillors, M.P, M.S.P, Assistance from Health and Social Care.

Wednesday – 18 October

Housing Support Team

Bridgegate House - 11.30am-2pm

Drop-in stalls offering money management advice Welfare Benefit, Housing Benefit, Scottish Welfare Fund and accessing community supports

Thursday – 19 October

Housing Support Team

Saltcoats Town Hall - 11.30am-2pm

Drop-in stalls offering money management advice Welfare Benefit, Housing Benefit, Scottish Welfare Fund and accessing community supports

Better Off Roadshows

Tesco, Kilbirnie - 11.30am – 2pm

Drop-in stalls offering money management advice (including debt, benefits and budgeting), affordable credit and goods, fuel advice, and digital help.

Friday – 20 October

Aye We Can Cook

Rivergate Mall, Irvine - 10am-3pm

Drop-in stalls events by our Catering Team offering advice on how you can ‘Feed a Family of Four for a Fiver’.

Eglinton Growers will attend showing off their fresh produce which they then turn in to chutneys and jams for people to try.

 2pm Omelette Challenge Provost v Leader… who will make the tastiest??

2.15 - Jordan, from Inch by Inch, shows what you can do with an egg

2.30 - Three Omelette challenge - Provost v leader - who will be the quickest

Holiday School meal programme

The Council’s Holiday School Meal programme will run throughout the week at a number of schools and community centres. Please click the link for further information.

https://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/news/Holiday-School-Meals-return-this-October.aspx