This council ward has the highest percentage of child poverty (35%) out of all council wards in Edinburgh (Edinburgh Council Locality Insight Report 2016). Broomhouse is one of the more deprived areas in the city and in comparison with the rest of Scotland. The SIMD 2016 ranks Broomhouse 594 most deprived out of 7000 in Scotland and it rates in the worst 5% for employment, health, housing and income, and in the worst 2% for education/skills/training.
Vandalism and incidents of fire-raising are significantly higher here than the rest of the city.
There are few opportunities and services available to children and young people in Broomhouse, and they and their families often have little motivation or funds to enable them to access these elsewhere. Domestic violence is prevalent, and children and young people live with the effects of poverty, alcohol and drugs on a daily basis. They often become more anxious as school holidays approach as this is an uncertain time for them. Lacking positive role models, guidance and support, they are often left to their own devices, suffering neglect, inconsistent parenting skills and a lack of clear boundaries. Many live transient lives, families uproot to avoid conflict, partners come and go, and our local school has an annual turnover of 30% – the highest in the city. Children living here grow up with poverty, low aspirations, poor health and a general acceptance of their situation. More than one-third of those accessing The BIG Project last year were in the BME grouping, and in many homes, their parents speak little English.