Local Member of the Scottish Parliament, David Stewart, joined Aberlour Child Care Trust in the Scottish Parliament recently, giving their support to the charity’s ‘No Bad Ends’ campaign.
The campaign was launched following research that shows young people from the most deprived communities in the Highlands and Islands are up to three time more likely to die before they reach their 25th birthday.
Aberlour is appealing to members of the public to start a monthly donation to the charity to help to reach more children and young people.
In addition, Aberlour is calling for the Scottish Government, public authorities and the business community to match the public’s generosity and commit to tackling the root causes of poverty in Scotland together. Specifically, Aberlour is calling for:
1. A commitment from the Scottish Government to a transitional fund that will support local authorities to deliver early intervention family support services, as well as continue to provide specialist support for children and families most affected by poverty and inequality.
2. A commitment from the Scottish Government and public authorities to develop a child wellbeing approach to budget setting and economic planning that ensures public spending prioritises child wellbeing.
3. A commitment from the business sector to provide quality, secure, flexible and family friendly employment, ensuring jobs and income levels that enable families to thrive, not just survive.
David Stewart said:
“I share Aberlour’s commitment to making sure that a bad start doesn’t define the rest of someone’s life in 21st century Scotland. Aberlour is to be congratulated on this bold and confronting campaign, which is calling for a big debate and real action to tackle poverty and change the outcomes for young people in our most deprived communities. This is a call elected representatives must respond to.
“Meeting Aberlour in the Scottish Parliament gave me a chance to learn more about their work, this campaign and what we can do together here in the Highlands and Islands to change the outcomes for young people facing a challenging start to life. “
SallyAnn Kelly, CEO, Aberlour Child Care Trust commented: “Aberlour knows the real and proven difference that our services make to the lives of children and young people in Scotland’s most deprived communities. It’s time for a conversation about how we end the unacceptable consequences of poverty in this country. We need a political response that meets the needs of vulnerable young people. “
The research was carried out by Dr Morag Treanor, Professor of Child and Family Inequalities at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University. It is the first to focus on the impact deprivation can have on deaths in young people and was based on Scottish mortality records from 2011 to 2017 supplied by National Records of Scotland. The research focused on deaths due to ‘external causes’. By categorising these deaths using the SIMD (the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) Dr Treanor was able to compare the least and most deprived quintiles with clear and shocking results.
Dr Morag Treanor said: “What we wanted to do was understand the impact deprivation has on life expectancy, specifically in young people. I was surprised just how difficult it was to find the data I needed to complete this research, and I’ve discovered that a study like this, focusing on deaths in young people under the age of 25 across Scotland, simply hasn’t been undertaken before. The results of the research really couldn’t paint a clearer message and underlines the massive inequality between rich and poor in this country.”
To donate, please visit: www.aberlour.org.uk/donate