• Hard times: young people’s and young parents’ experiences of living through poverty in Luton

      Melrose, Margaret; Waqar, Muhammad; Randhawa, Gurch (University of Bedfordshire, 2011-03)
      This research report is primarily concerned with the experiences of young people (16-24 years) and young parents bringing up children within the context of poverty in Luton. It is divided into three sections. Part One provides a general overview of poverty research in the UK. Part Two presents the findings from the study of young people and young parents’ experiences of poverty in Luton. Part Three discusses the implications of the findings presented and recommendations that arise from them. The overview of research presented in part one of this report is organised under the following headings: measures of poverty commonly adopted in UK poverty research; the extent of poverty in the UK including a short discussion of gender and ethnicity; attitudes to poverty amongst the general public; the impacts of poverty on children and families; poverty amongst young people; parenting in poverty; patterns of poverty. Part two of the report provides a brief description of the methodology adopted for this study and the sample amongst whom the research was conducted. Key findings are then summarised. Following this a thematic analysis of interview data is presented. This covers the following themes: how participants defined poverty; how participants explained poverty; the images of ‘poor people’ participants employed; whether participants considered they or their families were poor; participants’ descriptions of living through poverty; what participants thought the Local Authority should do to tackle poverty. Part three presents a discussion of the implications of the findings from this study and the recommendations that arise from them.