Lifting neighbourhoods out of poverty

Lifting neighbourhoods out of poverty

How do we harness resources to create a more cohesive system?

In this talk, Paul McColgan, CEO of Community Renewal outlined a radically simple approach to lifting neighbourhoods out of poverty and facilitated a discussion on how to tackle the unconscious barriers to this kind of holistic approach.

After a decade of austerity, we are familiar with stories of increasing inequality, with 1 in 3 children living in poverty. Whilst poverty is a complex issue, we have unconsciously created policy solutions that are infinitely more complex than the problem we are trying to solve.

In a town of a few square miles, it’s not uncommon to find over a hundred agencies each providing their own specific service – trapped in their silos. How do we harness this resource to create a more cohesive system?

Community Renewal has spent the past 20 years experimenting on how to lift neighbourhoods out of poverty. They have worked systematically – door by door –  in 17 deprived neighbourhoods in Scotland.

The results have been encouraging. Over 5000 people supported into sustained work, communities coming together to create a common vision and health and well-being have improved. Five data-zones were lifted out of poverty.

Recording of the talk

Paul McColgan has spent the past 20 years at the frontline of tackling health inequalities and poverty in Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhoods. He has pioneered a range of holistic approaches that have resulted in sustained transformation for individuals and communities. His work in the charity Community Renewal has assisted over 4000 families to improve their health and wellbeing and lift themselves out of poverty. Paul is the subject expert for Community Engagement in Scotland and is a board member of NHS Health Scotland.

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