There is ‘no quick fix’ for one of Weston’s most deprived estates

PUBLISHED: 10:00 02 July 2016

Mark Graham

Mark Graham

Archant

One of Weston-super-Mare’s most deprived areas is ‘not getting any better’ and is ‘falling behind’ according to the head of a healthy living centre.

The For All Healthy Living Centre on the Bournville estate in Weston-super-Mare has a library, doctor's surgery, cafe, community hall and church inside. The South Weston Children's Centre is also held in the building.The For All Healthy Living Centre on the Bournville estate in Weston-super-Mare has a library, doctor's surgery, cafe, community hall and church inside. The South Weston Children's Centre is also held in the building.

The Bournville estate, in South ward, is in the top one per cent of the most deprived areas in the country, prompting a charity to question the steps being taken towards improvement.

The For All Healthy Living Centre (FAHLC) is a Bournville social enterprise which provides health and social services. It has won funding from the Quartet Community Foundation (QCF) and its chief executive Mark Graham has presented the issues faced by people in the Bournville to the charity.

He said: “It came about as the QCF wanted to know about activities in the local community. We have received funding from them in the past and they wondered if we would update them.

“I hate to use this as saying that Bournville is one of the most deprived areas in the country but that is the case. It is not getting any worse but it’s not getting any better.

“If others are improving then you are going to fall behind. There is no quick fix working with local people.”

Bournville councillor Ian Parker said he is developing a plan to help the area.

He has been campaigning for change, yet one common measure of deprivation still shows more than 60 per cent of children in the area qualify for free school meals, compared to the national average at 26 per cent.

He said: “I have lived in this ward for 70 years. It is easy to highlight but it’s not easy to solve.”

Steps taken include the launch of the Asset Based Community Development Approach (ABCD) by health bodies.

He added: “The heart of this programme is to find a group of individuals who do things for themselves and then expand it to other people.”


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