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Poverty in Scotland: work together to end it

This news post is almost 6 years old

More than 100 events will mark the biggest ever Challenge Poverty Week

Charities across Scotland are coming together to stem and roll back the rising tide of poverty.

They will act not just to expose the deprivation blighting society, but to showcase the solutions we can all get behind to solve it.

From upcycling classes and family fun days to workshops on innovative alternatives to foodbanks, more than 100 events will mark the biggest ever Challenge Poverty Week which runs from Monday to Sunday, 1 to 7 October.

Academics, leading NGOs, churches, community groups, schools and leaders of all the major political parties are among those to show their support for the campaign.

NHS Health Scotland, Shelter, NSPCC Scotland, Close the Gap, Refugee Survival Trust, The Church of Scotland and Citizens Advice Scotland are among those joining forces to highlight the grip poverty has on people’s lives and the policies we need to solve the problem.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “In our society we believe in doing the right thing. And yet, we’re letting increasing numbers of people get swept up in the rising tide of poverty.

“All across Scotland people from all walks of life are coming together to highlight the problem and show what they are doing to help overcome the barriers that lock so many of us in poverty.

“Poverty restricts people’s ability to take part in society, but by boosting people’s incomes and reducing the cost of living we can redesign our economy to better reflect the values of compassion and justice we all share.”

Challenge Poverty Week – highlights include:

Poverty in Scotland: work together to end it

* Co-author of The Spirit Level, Professor Kate Pickett will give the annual Challenge Poverty Lecture at The Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit and Glasgow Caledonian University.

* The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Poverty in Scotland 2018report will explore what lies behind the higher risks and poverty rates for families with children and identify the support needed for women and families where someone is disabled.

* Leaders of the five political parties represented at Holyrood will show their support for challenging poverty at the Scottish Parliament.

* A number of local authorities will use Challenge Poverty Week to launch new initiatives. In North Ayrshire local people are being asked to share their big idea to tackle poverty in the area and the Provost and leader of council will tour local schools discussing ideas with pupils. Inverclyde Council is teaming up with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to look at child poverty, fuel poverty and closing the attainment gap. In Dumfries and Galloway, staff are taking part in training to help them respond to the needs of people on low incomes.

* Glasgow Homelessness Network is working with pupils at Lochend High School to design a campaign on period poverty in the school and STAR Project’s the #LadyBusinessBuddyBags campaign will highlight period poverty and call for donations of sanitary products throughout the week.

* Leading experts will address the impact of austerity on children living in poverty in a half day conferenceTaking action on child poverty organised by The University of Stirling’s Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection and NSPCC

* A self-management and poverty event will see NGOs, practitioners and people with lived experience of long-term health conditions explore the links, challenges and opportunities at the intersection of self-management and poverty.

* There will be community meals and donation drives.

* The Interfaith Food Justice Network in Glasgow will be among many groups holding community meals and information sessions.

* Clydebank High School will host a fun day packed with exciting activities for all ages including human hungry hippos alongside helpful and informative sessions on things like fuel efficiency, mindfulness and cooking demos.

* Information sessions will be run across Scotland on issues like managing Universal Credit, access to affordable credit, homelessness rights, refugees and destitution, holiday hunger and alternatives to foodbanks.