• Strengthen the social security system and help people meet their aspirations: A strong and reliable social security safety net is essential to address regional inequalities and support people in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods. Measures to boost productivity, revitalise communities, and address inequalities between regions can only be achieved if people can rely on a strong welfare system. We are calling for an increase in the basic rate of Universal Credit’s standard allowance and an introduction of an Essentials Guarantee. 


  • Recognise the role charities play in delivering local services and review the current model of delivering services for the community: Our frontline services are increasingly being asked to deliver services which used to be in the hands of Local Authorities. Where state services cannot deliver for lack of funding, charities like the SVP are stepping in, able to respond quickly and offer wraparound support. If regional inequalities are to be tackled, cuts to core services must be reversed, and the role charities play in tackling poverty must be clearly acknowledged. Measures should include more funding for Local Authorities and NHS provision. The government must also rethink its model of delivering local services. This should start with a thorough evaluation of who is delivering local services and how they are being funded. 


  • Devolve power and funding to local decision makers: We believe that the key to the success of a long-term strategy to address regional inequalities is to help local stakeholders deliver what’s needed by working closely with them – drawing on their knowledge and insight of local challenges and solutions. 

From the Frontline: tackling regional inequalities from the ground up. 


In this report, we shed a light on how the SVP has long been levelling up. It offers an insight into the vital work carried out by our 10 regional centres and local-level volunteer members working in diverse regions and contexts. Drawing on a range of data, material and case studies, this report captures the lived experiences and voices of those who depend on and access the SVP’s frontline services. 

Download the report here


49% increase in the number of requests for help over the past year. 

17,000 people and more offered support at our regional centres in 2023 alone. 

Anecdotal evidence from our latest survey of members showed that 58% of people and families supported by our members with essential goods were in receipt of Universal Credit. And out of these, 92% struggled to pay for food in the last year. 

All our projects, volunteer members or centres are located in 17 of the 20 most deprived areas by income deprivation. 










Map of Southend-on-Sea












Map of Newcastle