s Challenge | storyof.outset.org

The causes of social, financial and economic exclusion are both diverse and complex: low skills, lack of opportunity, low levels of ambition and confidence, and an absence of positive role models, not to mention poverty, poor housing and transport, and geographic isolation.

But the impact that this exclusion has on communities across the UK is clear. In deprived inner cities, depressed coastal communities and rural areas, there are higher crime and anti-social behavior rates, increased drug and alcohol misuse, greater health issues, increased numbers of long-term unemployed and a general decline in the social fabric.

Social and financial exclusion has been exacerbated by the recession, particularly in the case of NEETs, older people, and those furthest from the labour market. It is unsurprising therefore that such individuals are perceived as ‘hard to reach’, let alone engage and support, and they are often written off in terms of economic development.