Council Discusses Ways To Tackle Poverty On Islands

Councillors have heard how a social enterprise group in Cornwall is helping people in deprived areas get back into work.

Ellie Moseley, from Cornwall Works, said she’d worked with families in Cornwall that had five generations who had been out of work. And even though they lived in one of the most beautiful places in the country, their lives were, “all about surviving rather than going to the beach” and it was having a massive impact on the economy.

Our Council announced earlier this year that it was hoping to partner with the Cornish organisation to create ‘Scilly Works’ with the aim of tackling poverty on the islands.

Ellie said it wasn’t, “an agenda about pushing people into the wrong jobs” as that approach didn’t work in the long term.

She said her organisation tried to raise families out of poverty in a number of ways. These include access to training and welfare resources. They’ve also set up a novel programme with the Fire Service in Cornwall to help build motivation and team skills in younger people and Ellie said that’s something that could be brought over to Scilly.

They also suggested support for new graduates who might want to return to Scilly but can’t find work here.

But she also said her group could learn a lot from Scilly, particularly as they work with a number of isolated communities with high levels of deprivation, that don’t always want people coming in and telling them what to do

The Council’s Aisling Hick said historically, Scilly has always said we don’t have an issue with unemployment. But she’s aware that in the current climate, there’s a potential for families here to get into financial problems.

Councillor David Pearson, speaking on behalf of the children, said, “a child’s problem is a family problem.”

He said it made him sad that, on the one hand, the Government was providing these types of services, while on the other it was creating hardship by taking away welfare and creating hardship.