Middleton woman proposes scheme to help youth unemployment

Penelope Cox with  the minister's letter. ''C120123-1 Bog Jobless  Photo Louise Adams
Penelope Cox with the minister's letter. ''C120123-1 Bog Jobless Photo Louise Adams

A Middleton woman has proposed paying a pound a week to help the area’s youth unemployment.

Penelope Cox has urged the government to consider bringing in her donate-a-small-amount scheme in addition to its existing measures.

She has been told by the government’s employment minister Chris Grayling her idea will be considered when it is believed to be right to introduce it.

“Ministers welcome any active interest in helping the unemployed shown by members of the public since their concerns and suggestions for remedy can be a great help in the monitoring and development of policies,” he wrote.

“With this in mind, the government keeps a log of certain ideas that have been sent in and, wherever possible, brings them into play as and when they become relevant in the process of reform.”

The Observer reported last month the high level of child poverty around Bognor Regis.

Pevensey has 43.1 per cent of children living in relative poverty. Other areas also have more than a third of their under-16s in the same situation to make the Arun district the worst in West Sussex for households lacking money.

Retired junior school headteacher Mrs Cox, of Southdean Drive, who is in her 70s, said her idea would provide an easy and low-cost way in which individuals could help young people get into work and break the cycle of poverty.

“A donate-a-pound-for-youth scheme would enable subscribers to make charitable donations of £1 a week or £5+ a month which could be collected by HM Revenue and Customs under PAYE systems.

“These monies could then be returned to a named group within the community from which it had been collected.

“Such a group would be made up of volunteer business experts, perhaps in association with a local MP,” she said. “Donate-a-pound funds would then be allocated to local companies taking on 18 to 25-year-old employees to meet their wages.

“Free banking for the scheme could be provided by the banks which had been baled out by public funds.

“I would be prepared to make such a donation and, in my case, the monies would be returned to the Arun District Council area.

“I would see where and how my gift was being used. The scheme would also enable us elders to show we sympathise with and support our youth.”