Highest rates of Sussex child poverty in Arun

Parts of Littlehampton (pictured) and Bognor Regis have some of the highest rates of child poverty across Sussex
Parts of Littlehampton (pictured) and Bognor Regis have some of the highest rates of child poverty across Sussex

Some of the highest rates of child poverty across Sussex are in parts of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, according to a new charity report.

The River, former Ham, Marine, and Pevensey wards are all in the top 20 per cent nationally for overall deprivation.

Charity Sussex Community Foundation’s latest report ‘Sussex Uncovered 2: Bridging the Gap’, ranks the Arun district seventh for deprivation out of 13 areas across Sussex.

However two small parts of the Ham and Bersted wards rank in the top 21 of 999 areas across Sussex for child poverty, by measuring the proportion of children living in income deprived households.

The Arun district also has one of the lowest average salaries in Sussex at £23,000 a year, above only Eastbourne and Hastings.

It is also one of six areas in Sussex above the national average for education deprivation.

Kevin Richmond, chief executive at the Sussex Community Foundation, said: “The first Sussex Uncovered report was the first report to give a broad view of issues facing local communities across the entirety of Sussex.

“It found that Sussex is a great place to live if you can afford it. In this report, we wanted to look in a more qualitative way to uncover what is going on at the grassroots.”

He added: “We asked a number of the groups that we have funded to tell us about the services they provide, how they are managing the new funding environment and their hopes for the future. Their views and experiences are reflected in this report.”

According to the report, reductions in Government spending has started to have a ‘real impact’ on Sussex residents and on the charities and community groups that support them.

The report’s executive summary states: “Many local charities feel they are facing the perfect storm of increasing need, reducing funding and an uncertain future.

“We aim to provide shelter from the storm for the local community by providing a flexible and responsive source of funding for the people who give their time to help those in need.

“Sussex is a great place to live, if you can afford it. We hope that this report will show our current and future donors what the needs of Sussex people continue to be and how, together, we can use our unique model of community philanthropy to support the charities and community groups and volunteers that work so hard to make Sussex a great place to live for everyone.”

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