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Families not areas suffer rural disadvantage, 2/4/08

A new report, published by Children in Wales highlights some of the key issues disadvantaging families in rural Wales.  These include problems accessing transport, a lack of services and leisure opportunities and a lack of affordable housing.  The report “Families not areas suffer rural disadvantage, Support for Rural Families in Wales” is the result of research which considered the problems rural families face and effective ways of delivering services to them.  It found that many services tend to be focused in more urban areas of counties or in geographical areas of high deprivation.  Together with infrequent transport links this can mean that families in some rural areas miss out on services.  The report also outlines a range of initiatives in some counties that have been developed to meet the needs of families in rural areas in Wales.  These include a network of families centres established in Carmarthenshire, a telephone support line for parents in Conwy and Anglesey’s Rural Family Service.

Lucy Akhtar, Parenting Development Officer at Children in Wales said: “Agencies interviewed as part of the study felt that while families had a general satisfaction with rural living services to support families in their parenting role are patchy. Agencies highlighted a number of issues faced by families including problems accessing services, leisure opportunities and welfare advice.  Many families’ problems were exacerbated by the lack of affordable transport and struggling on a low-income.  Families with a disabled child had particular problems accessing suitable services locally.  A number of agencies highlighted the particular problems of adjusting and integrating into communities that were faced by families who had migrated to rural locations in Wales from urban areas in England.  Services such as family centres were seen as key in helping these families adjust and integrate.”

Notes:

1.                  Families not areas suffer rural disadvantage, Support for Rural Families in Wales can be downloaded from Children in Wales website: Families not areas suffer disadvantageFINAL

2.                  Surveys were carried out with key individuals in rural communities across Wales including Monmouthshire, Powys, Ceredigion, the Isle of Anglesey, Carmarthen, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire and Pembrokeshire.

3.                  Children in Wales was established in March 1992 and became a registered charity in 1993.  It aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  We work closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, children with special needs or disabilities and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation.  We collect and disseminate information about children and promote good practice in children’s services through research, policy and practice development, publications, conferences, seminars, training and access to an extensive library and information service.  Children in Wales has offices in Cardiff and Caernarfon.

For More Information Contact:

Lucy Akhtar, Parenting Development Officer, Children in Wales, Tel: 029 2034 2434, e-mail: lucy.akhtar@childreninwales.org.uk