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This week is Challenge Poverty Week 2023

Challenge Poverty Week is back!

North Ayrshire Council is backing a week-long drive that shines a light on poverty and what we can do to help make life better for people who are in crisis.

Challenge Poverty Week (October 2 to 8), arranged by the Poverty Alliance charity, inspires communities every year to work together, support each other and find new ways to change attitudes.

The themes for this year’s activities are: Communities and Volunteers; Adequate Incomes, Food, Housing and Transport.

This is the eighth consecutive year the Council has supported Challenge Poverty Week, and the Council is proud of the continuing efforts being made across the region to improve living conditions for people struggling to make ends meet.

Some of the funds and support already offered by the Council to support residents are:

  • Emergency Support Payment:  Last winter, we supported more than 1,500 eligible households specifically through our £450,000 Emergency Support Payment.
    Councillors set aside £1million earlier this year to ensure further payments could be made this winter. Anyone who is struggling to make ends meet could be eligible for support in paying their household energy bills.
  • Early Intervention Fund – a one-off investment of £1.4m over three years to replace the Cost of the School Day. This includes £100,000 for a community transport initiative and;
  • The recent Scottish Government funding of £2.272m to pay for holiday school meals and free school meals for P4 and P5 year groups, ensuring that all P1-P5 pupils benefit from the scheme.
Help with the Cost of Living Leaflet front cover

Pictured is a handy Council information leaflet – also available online here: that gives information about clothing grants and free school meals, Council Tax reduction, Community Larders and more…

If you need help with Cost-of-Living support please visit the Council’s dedicated webpage at

Logo with three upward pointing arrows with text in a circle reading 'Challenge Poverty Week'

In recent years, communities and businesses have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine and economic unpredictability.

This has been compounded by the energy crisis, increased inflation and increased interest rates, and has resulted in higher household prices, which have created hardship and financial exclusion for people across North Ayrshire.

The Council’s top priorities include tackling child poverty and supporting residents through the Cost-of-living Crisis. The three key drivers of child poverty are income from employment, income from social security and the cost of living.

Here in North Ayrshire, events and activities the Council has arranged this Challenge Poverty Week include:

  • Residents will be sharing their stories about how having solar panels installed at their homes has helped their bills – and the environment.
  • On social media we will be shining a light on the success of the national free bus travel scheme, which means those aged under 22 can hop on for free using a National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot National Entitlement Card.
  • There is also a focus on travel at the Trinity Active Travel Hub on Thursday from 11am to 3pm at 8 Bridgegate in Irvine. Members of the public are invited along to the former Trinity Church have their bike security marked and checked over, speak to the team at Stagecoach about travel planning, chat to Home Energy Scotland about how to keep your home warm in winter, discuss the best way to recycle old bikes and sign up for an NEC card. Simply go along on the day.
  • On Friday, the Council will host a cooking event and Cultural Café at Irvine’s Redburn Community Centre to help showcase dishes made in our communities, with a focus on produce.

Follow the Council’s social media channels, using #Challenge Poverty and #CPW23, to find out more about events happening across North Ayrshire.

Stay tuned to social media for updates and on how to help us to raise awareness and tackle poverty far and wide. And, if you are part of an activity or event this week remember to use the hashtags above as you may be included in our round-up of coverage in the Winter edition of Staff Talk (landing December).

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