Walthamstow Councillor Karen Bellamy Shortlisted for Award on Poverty Action

Councillor Karen Bellamy

Councillor Karen Bellamy

London, UK – March 5, 2015 – Waltham Forest Councillor Karen Bellamy has been shortlisted from over 100 candidates this year for the 3rd Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises outstanding politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. Cllr Bellamy is nominated for her inspiring work on poverty action.

Before being elected into office in 2010, Cllr Bellamy was a community activist for 20 years and has a real understanding of local issues within her local borough. For a borough with few social housing, Waltham Forest is the sixth most deprived borough in London and twenty third in the United Kingdom with at least 52% of children living in poverty. The Council found that privately rented houses are occupied by at least 10 people to make living affordable, many of whom have 2-3 jobs and are reliant on accessing food banks just to survive.

With £64million cut from the Council budget, Cllr Bellamy managed to create practical strategies to eradicating the causes of poverty in the long term. One of her many projects include the establishment of food hubs in four of the most deprived wards in North East London where residents could take advantage of quality fresh good distributed through national charity FoodShare. A similar initiative was rolled out to children’s centres to provide struggling parents with access to donated baby clothes, toys, and accessories at no cost to them.

Another successful project instigated by the Councillor was the community food project where local centres are provided with fresh fruit and vegetable from Spittlefields Market at a much cheaper price than local shops. The result of this project has meant that people with multiple jobs are no longer forced to pay premium food prices that are thirty percent more expensive when they have little spare time to buy weekly groceries. 

Food poverty is not the only cause for concern for the Councillor. Recognising the borough’s low educational attainment levels, Cllr Bellamy commissioned the Dolly Parton Imagination Library with the task of gifting pre-school children with appropriate reading materials to create a love for reading. As a significant factor to generational poverty, Cllr Bellamy notes that helping children get into the way of learning early is likely to give them the tools to make education rewarding and help them break the cycle of poverty through lack of employment opportunity.

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Executive Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “All too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals who work tirelessly for their communities. The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others in power to follow suit.”  

The Councillor has a strong portfolio of tackling poverty with practical solutions and continues to work tirelessly to see an improvement in the quality of life for others. 

Join Councillor Karen Bellamy and other government nominees for the gala dinner at The Mayfair Hotel, London on Thursday 5th March 2015. For ticket information please visit: http://www.grassrootdiplomat.org/book-tickets or call 07511 816689. 

Further details about the awards can be found on: www.grassrootdiplomat.org/annual-awards


About Grassroot Diplomat

Grassroot Diplomat is a non-profit diplomatic consultancy with the mission to facilitate trust and better communication between governments and civil society. As an independent agency, Grassroot Diplomat shows no allegiance to a solitary government but will act in the interest of the people, no matter where they are or what state their country is in. We do this by developing, strengthening, and facilitating relationships between governments and civil society stakeholders on a project-by-project basis. 


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Councillor Karen Bellamy