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Debate to discuss poverty in Wolverhampton


The University of Wolverhampton will be hosting a guest talk focused on poverty in the Black Country this week. 

The discussion on poverty in the city will include an array of specialist speakers to discuss and raise awareness of social issues in the Midlands.

The University and Citizen Advice Bureau sponsored debate will provide an insight into the challenges of poverty in Wolverhampton and how it can be tackled through working  together and will take place on Friday, 27 March at 6.30pm in MC001.

Guest speakers at the event will include Right Reverend Clive Gregory, Bishop of Wolverhampton, the University’s Dr Steve Iafrati, social policy course leader, and speakers from Citizens Advice Bureau and Better Off in Wolverhampton.

Dr Steve Iafrati, Social Policy Course leader at the University of Wolverhampton, said:

“The University’s social policy department has a record of published research looking at some of the issues faced by poor and marginalised communities in the Midlands.

“One of the key messages of my presentation will be that whilst there are difficulties in developing local solutions to problems that are essentially national and even global in their origins, education will form a central part of any solution.  

“Problematically for the city, with nearly 23% of residents having no formal qualifications, it will be difficult for Wolverhampton to fully capitalise on new and future investment opportunities.  

“Whilst this is currently planned as a one off event, it would be wonderful to see it as creating a further connection between the university and local people. “

The event forms part of Wolverhampton’s Working Well Week which mainly focuses on supporting people find employment and gain the right skills.

The University of Wolverhampton, with a record of widening participation and attracting students from across the Black Country, has a key role to play in developing skills and aspirations.  

The event is targeted towards community and faith groups; policy makers; politicians, education and health workers; staff from frontline organisations and social policy students.

The discussion will cover the following key questions for consideration:

  • How do we support children and families out of poverty in Wolverhampton?
  • Why does Wolverhampton have high levels of deprivation?
  • Beyond stereotypes, how do local people cope with and escape poverty?
  • How can our whole city support children and families?

This talk has been organised to stand as an opportunity to discuss some of the important issues of how best to boost the city's economy as well as to reflect on some of the economic challenges facing Wolverhampton and is about openly discussing potential ways forward.  

It has been organised by a range of partners, including Heather Ernstsons at the City Council and Jeremy Vanes, the outgoing Chief Executive of Wolverhampton CAB.  


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