Lowestoft Rising reports soaring success in GCSE pass rates and reducing chaotic behaviour
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A Lowestoft project which helps create opportunities and a better quality of life in the town has reported significant improvements in GCSE pass rates, A&E admissions and rough sleeping.
Lowestoft Rising – a collective “movement” of public sector bodies which aims to improve living conditions and opportunities, presented its latest figures to the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders meeting of all council chief executives and leaders on November 30.
To date, it said it had improved the GCSE pass rate from 30% to 50% as of 2018, helped 140 of the town’s most “chaotic people” turn around their behaviour and reduced the number of people sleeping on the streets from 35 to just four.
Elsewhere, it claimed its social prescribing approach had reduced A&E visits by 21% and GP visits by 44% since starting four and a half years ago within its Solutions programme.
Phil Aves from the scheme, said: “The only thing Lowestoft was good at five years ago was creating NEETs [not in education, employment or training].
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“The NEETs were difficult to fix but we fixed them.”
He added that working with the 140 chaotic people alone, which is largely centred around drugs and alcohol, had saved in excess of £2m annually in costs that would have been incurred on police and welfare organisations.
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Nicole Rickard, head of communities from the project said: “It’s about saying what are we going to do about this and being creative about how we deal with this.
“It hasn’t just been about money. In a lot of cases it’s linked to aspirations – a lot of the time giving people hope is what matters most and helping them believe there is something more than what they have now.”
The project is supported by a combined £75,000 annual investment by the various public sector organisations, including the councils, police and crime commissioner and clinical commissioning group.
Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “When you see that sort of result it’s about making the right choice and priority.
“If we can get our youngsters off to a good start you realise you can make a huge difference.
“We have got to keep these sorts of projects going, it’s got to be a priority.”