Camden leads debate to address impacts of the cost-of-living crisis on women

Tonight (Wednesday 26 April) councillors, community groups and local organisations gathered to discuss a report into how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting women in Camden.

Launched in March by the Camden Women’s Forum (CWF), the report showed that the cost-of-living crisis is disproportionately impacting women in Camden and included recommendations for how the Council, partners and communities can work together to ensure women are given the right support.

The debate, which took place at tonight’s Full Council, included speeches from the co-chair of the Women’s Forum, Helene Reardon Bond, Shabna Begum from the race equality think tank the Runnymeade Trust, Emma Stewart, the Co-Founder of Timewise - an organisation that works to promote flexible working and John Hayes, Headteacher at Gospel Oak.

Work that is taking place to address the issues raised in the report were also discussed at the debate, including Camden:

  • creating a uniform fund to support low-income families
  • promoting flexible working within local employers
  • creating more training and education opportunities for women
Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council

We know this crisis is affecting everyone but not affecting everyone equally, and as a Council we are committed to doing everything we can to respond to the recommendations outlined in the report. We’ve been doing a lot of work to address the cost-of-living crisis and have already taken urgent action to respond to the recommendations including making permanent the Mayor of London’s investment in universal primary free school meals for all pupils and creating a new school uniform fund.

We’ve also written an open letter to Government to take urgent action to invest in our welfare system, our public services and in crisis support, including increasing access to flexible working and funding good quality, affordable childcare for all children up to five – women should not be going without food so their children can eat, or unable to find work around caring commitments.

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council

This report highlights that the cost-of-living crisis is exposing cracks in an already broken welfare system that is not set up to support the needs of women and their children. We co-produced this report with over 100 local women in Camden to hear first-hand how this crisis is affecting them and are proposing local and national recommendations which are needed around feeding, clothing and developing children; flexible working; and acknowledging the value of care.

Building on the optimism and the belief in collective action that we heard from the women of Camden, we hope this report can instigate real change that women and children need now and in the future.

Helene Reardon Bond, Co-Chair of the Camden Women’s Forum

The forum spoke to 100 women in the borough to inform the report. A report will be going to Cabinet in July with a full list of actions, including national asks of Government.

Camden Women’s Forum was established in 2019, bringing together partners across the borough to look at issues affecting women and operates like a select inquiry, engaging with women and girls directly about the issues affecting them. The forum is co-chaired by Helene Reardon-Bond, Camden’s gender equality champion and Angela Mason, former Cabinet Member for Best Start in Life.

How you can access support

If you are struggling to afford the essentials, – including food, energy bills or housing costs - or if you’re in debt, help and support is available. Together with our partners and voluntary sector organisations, we’re stepping in to provide a package of much-needed support – including a cost-of-living crisis fund for those who are in extreme financial hardship.

Find advice at, call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9), you can also call Citizens Advice Camden on 0800 278 7835 or contact one of the organisations in Camden Advice Network at