The ‘Rural Lifelines: revisited’ report shows how small charities and voluntary action are tackling rural disadvantage in Yorkshire & the Humber. However the report identifies the lifeline that charities provide for lonely and vulnerable people is under threat.
The key findings of the report are that rural poverty has increased over the last two years and that the preconceptions of ‘rural idylls’ continue to mask the extent of problems.
Voluntary and community organisations have reported an increase in demand for services; whilst at the same time, many are seeing funding cuts and are having to reduce the services they offer to the vulnerable.
The report highlights innovative projects launched by voluntary and community organisations to combat rural poverty. These include a community transport service collaborating with a local taxi firm to increase capacity, a debt advice service that visits residents in remote locations who cannot afford to travel to an advice centre and a project to share information between health services and voluntary organisations that are in touch with vulnerable members of the community.
The report recommends that government rural-proofs all policies so that unintended consequences are avoided, a targeted programme of support so that lifeline work continues, and also that policies and programmes that affect rural areas need to be better joined-up.
For more information on the report please visit www.involveyorkshirehumber.org.uk