People with lived experience of poverty will continue to lead the movement and campaign on issues such as Universal Credit
Ten years after it was created to help educate those in power about life in poverty, the Poverty Truth Commission is relaunching as the Poverty Truth Community.
The organisation was designed to bring people in poverty together with people in key position of power to work side-by-side as equal commissioners.
Over the last 10 years it has held four major events and created 13 working groups on topics such as kinship care, the poverty premium, the cost of school, and mental health.
Its work has led to changes in government policy, including security a minimum level of £100 for School Clothing Grants in every local authority in Scotland.
Over the last few years, it has seen commissioners with experience of poverty get involved in creative arts, public speaking, facilitating workshops, consultations, research and co-working with other organisations.
Jackie Stockdale, a Poverty Truth Commissioner, said: “There is nothing positive in the experience of poverty and in the current climate; hopelessness among people on low incomes is endemic. But it would be grossly unfair to ignore the transformative, progressive and innovative work of organisations like the Poverty Truth Commission which I joined in 2017.
“Communities are being divided by the media, distracted by consumerism and crushed by government policies. The poor are being played off against each other. I felt helpless in the face of all this until I found my voice through the Poverty Truth Commission.
“As a Commissioner, I was given the opportunity to meet and connect with people with similar experiences to me as well as influential public figures. We all wanted to identify and challenge the causes of poverty and create change. The space we were given to learn from each other felt safe and respectful and I felt that my contribution mattered.”
Recently commissioners have sat on local and national bodies, including the Poverty and Inequality Commission, Glasgow Life Museums Access Panel, the Good Food Nation Commission and the Scottish Fuel Poverty Partnership Forum.
As the Poverty Truth Community, members who live with poverty will lead the work – going into communities to listen, learn and start conversations around Universal Credit, in-work poverty and young people.