Our history

2015 marked CPAG's 50th anniversary. Our full history is examined in a book by Prof Pat Thane and Dr Ruth Davidson, historians at Kings College London, in Child Poverty Action Group 1965-2015

The book explores the growth and development of CPAG, from the 'rediscovery of poverty' in the 1960s through CPAG's many campaigns to the passing of the Child Poverty Act in 2010 and beyond.  

You can scroll through a timeline of highlights in CPAG's 50 year history, and key founding documents, below

Key documents

Minutes of the first meeting

At this meeting, on 5th April 1965, it was agreed to draw up "a Memorandum on the subject of family poverty" for use in discussions with the Government. There was also some discussion of the status and future of the group, and possible names for "… a Body which would investigate the problem of poverty and make recommendations on the subject to Government departments".

Press release – 23rd December 1965

A press release announcing Child Poverty Action Group’s intention to present a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to take action to alleviate poverty in families as soon as possible, and announcing a press conference to be held at Toynbee Hall on 23rd December 1965.

Letter to the Prime Minister

A copy of the letter presented to the Prime Minister on 23rd December 1965, which draws attention to family poverty, and urges the Government to take action as soon as possible “to achieve a radical improvement in the standard of living of families in poverty”. A memorandum was attached with two main proposals: “We ask that the present arrangements for family allowances and the allowances for children be reconsidered and revised, and that bigger direct allowances be paid in respect of children in the poorest families.”