Author of the moment Kerry Hudson popped in to meet staff at Children North East this week to find out more about the wider work of our charity.

Kerry was in Newcastle on Wednesday for the northern launch of her book tour to promote ‘Lowborn - Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns’. And ahead of her ‘meet the author’ event at Gosforth Civic Theatre, she was keen to meet our team.

Lowborn by Kerry Hudson

It also happened to be the day shocking new statistics were unveiled showing that almost half of children living in the ward in which Children North East is based, (Newcastle Central) are being brought up in poverty.

Chaotic childhood

Although she hails from Aberdeen, as a young child Kerry was always on the move with her single mother and went to nine different primary schools and five secondaries, living in B&Bs and council flats.

One of those B&Bs was in North Shields and she attended Hetton Lyons primary school in County Durham.

For Lowborn  Kerry returned to where she came from. She revisited the towns she grew up in to try to discover what being poor really means in Britain today and whether anything has changed.

Poverty Proofing

She went back to her old school, Hetton Lyons, where the deputy head told her all about their experience of Children North East’s Poverty Proofing the School Day.

Kerry was so impressed with the way poverty proofing changes the school experience for children and teachers that she devotes a part of her book to how it’s impacted on her old school and she’s now one of poverty proofing’s biggest advocates, talking eloquently about it on Radio 4 and in the national press.

She told us: “The Deputy Head at Hetton Lyons School told me how the poverty proofing scheme had introduced them to so many simple but effective ways that they’d managed to destigmatise poverty for kids, to make kids who are poorer feel more comfortable and less disparate from their peers.

Poverty Proofing is amazing because you’re making sure as much as possible that all kids feel the same, and equally able to reach their full potential.

Kerry Hudson and Georgina from Children North Easts Schools Team

Today, Kerry, who scores eight out of ten on the Adverse Childhood Experiences measure of childhood trauma, is a prizewinning novelist who has travelled the world.

She is a beacon of hope to young people growing up in poverty now – she has a secure home, a loving partner and access to art, music, film and books.

Kerry added: “We live in the world’s sixth richest economy but one fifth of us live in poverty.”

Amazing work

So what advice would she offer, based on her own experiences? What advice would she give to young people growing up in similar circumstances?

"Seek out whatever support you can, get help from your teacher or your GP or go to a public library to access help online and find out what's available for you. Organisations like Children North East do such amazing work and are there to help you."

Lowborn is available on loan at your local library or if you can afford your own copy, from all good book stores, details here

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