The Suffolk Foundation commissioned a team from CCHPR to carry out an investigation into the nature and extent of 'hidden deprivation' in the county. The report from the study shows that whilst the county as a whole might be perceived as affluent and comfortable, there are highly deprived areas, and large numbers of households in poverty.
Ipswich and Waveney, two of the seven districts within the county have neighbourhoods that are ranked among the worst 10% for rates of multiple deprivation in the household. Deprivation rates worsened across the county between 2005 and 2008 relative to the rest of England. Underneath the rates, there are some telling totals: by the measures used in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2010, there are 78,000 people in income poverty in Suffolk including 19,000 children and 24,000 people of retirement age.
Income poverty and deprivation can be compounded by poor access to services, especially in rural areas. The report shows how residents in much of the county have some of the longest distances to travel to basic services, and draws on evidence to show the continuing loss of this infrastructure in rural parishes.
The effects of the recession have been felt by young people in particular. The county has many young adults not in education, employment or training, with rates comparable to deprived inner-urban areas. In some areas, there are more than seven Job Seekers for every Job Centre vacancy.
The Suffolk Foundation commissioned the research to support its work as a major grant-maker to local voluntary organisations. The report looks at some of the challenges facing voluntary organisations that seek to address deprivation.