Action Against Child Poverty

Lifestyle Change Programme

Partnerships MATTER

When, in 2015, data revealed that 1 in 5 children across our area live in poverty, it sadly wasn’t a surprise to St John’s. We committed to tackling the problem and brought together a coalition of over 50 local charities and organisations to launch the Action Against Child Poverty Campaign (AACP).

Working with over 80 families from locations in Foxhill, Radstock, Keynsham and Peasedown-St-John, the programme had over 2,000 attendances throughout 2017.

The Lifestyle Change Programme is a 3-year initiative funded by AACP, to tackle child poverty in Bath and the surrounding area.

Six local charities and organisations have come together to deliver a continuous 40-week programme that has seen participants report increased health, confidence and wellbeing. This includes Sporting Family Change, Southside Project, Wansdyke Play Association, SWALLOW, Mentoring Plus, and Off The Record. 2018 has seen Bath Rugby Foundation join the programme delivery team.
Whilst there are often common underlying causes of poverty, the combination of factors and circumstances of family requires an individualised response, starting with engagement and trust building activities in a supportive environment, typically through sport, active lifestyle and healthy eating programmes.

Through listening and support, confidence and self-esteem grows, and as clients’ needs and circumstances are explored, they are referred to specialist support services in areas such as budgeting and debt management, benefit and housing advice, mentoring, employment skills, parenting skills, mental health and domestic violence support.

The kids love coming; they have so much fun just being outside with the other kids and get to make new friends. We think it’s great because the sessions get the kids away from their phones and the TV and we can also enjoy family time together. The kids have even tried new foods too. It’s hard on a Friday because the sessions don’t run; we’d be there every day if they did.

A Dad who attends family drop-in sessions

The Project offers children and their families the opportunity to take part in a range of fun activities, from multi-sports to nutrition and cookery classes. It is also an opportunity to meet other local families and form friendships as well as raise aspirations and make positive healthy lifestyle changes.

Jimmy Deane
Founder of Sporting Family Change

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The Bath Half Marathon

2017 saw 15 runners from St John’s take part in the Bath Half Marathon and raise thousands of pounds for AACP. Unfortunately, 2018's event was cancelled due to snow, however this year we’re delighted to have more than twice as many runners and are aiming to raise as much as we can to support this fantastic programme!