Coventry Poverty Alliance sets priorities for helping people in need in 2024

Coventry Poverty Alliance – where grassroots frontline organisations, medium and larger charities and the public sector come together with a focus on action and a shared agenda of joined up help – has decided its priorities for 2024.

The two joint priorities, chosen from a shortlist of five during a session last month, will set in motion a plan of action aiming to make the most difference to local people’s lives.

These are:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claims for children
  • Action on benefits sanctions.

They were selected on the basis they should result in a real improvement to people’s lives, be winnable and worthwhile, widely and deeply felt and easily understood, with a clear target and timeframe that makes them achievable.

A block of flats in Coventry at dusk with some lights on inside flats and pink and black text saying around 1 in 4 adults in the West Midlands was living in poverty in 2021/22.
Around 1 in 4 adults were living in poverty in the West Midlands in 2021/22, the report says.

The Coventry Poverty Alliance meeting hosted by the University of Warwick’s Institute of Engagement’s Regional Partnerships Team on 23 January, brought together 30 of its most active members to debate the priorities shortlist and reach a collective decision before forming working groups to take the priorities forward during February.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation launched its UK Poverty Report the same day, presenting the most up-to-date picture of poverty ahead of this year’s general election.

Read the UK Poverty Report 2024 here.

The report shows the depth and breadth of poverty today – 14.4 million people living in poverty in 2021/22 and a growing gap in income for families trying to escape it.

The West Midlands is among the hardest hit areas of the UK.

A stock photo of tins of food piled high inside a foodbank ready for distribution to those in need. Pink and black text explains Coventry Poverty Alliance convenes the poverty frontline, charities and public sector to plan action on poverty in the city.
Recent collaborations have included campaigns on prepayment metres, mapping energy advice services (and gaps) in the city, and having a voice in council-led initiatives.

Coventry Poverty Alliance was convened in 2022 by Grapevine and Central England Law Centre to help address the urgent need to provide practical support and a holistic approach to helping Coventry people grappling with the cost of living crisis.

Two years on, the situation is worse and concerted, collective voice and action is needed now more than ever.

The next Alliance meeting is on Tuesday 12 March.

Contact our CEO Clare Wightman or Emma Bates (Director of Positive Action on Poverty at the Law Centre) if you are Coventry-based, involved in delivering support or services and want to commit your time and energy to helping local people.