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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

There’s a poor outlook for McCloud’s new poverty blog

This news post is over 7 years old
 

A campaign to tackle the stigma of poverty has launched a new phase with a spoof blog that highlights the difficulties of life in poverty

An award winning public awareness campaign designed to tackle the stigma of poverty has entered a new phase.

Scotland’s Outlook campaign, which was created by a coalition of charities led by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), features TV weatherman Kenny McCloud and focuses on the reality of poverty in Scotland.

The campaign, which highlighted that 20% of Scottish children are living in poverty, won the gold award in the not-for-profit campaign category at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Pride Awards last year.

The new phase of the campaign is a blog written by McCloud, who has lost his job and is now struggling to live on benefits. It is set to uncover some of the inconsistencies in public perceptions of job seekers.

The It’s Raining Ken blog is accompanied by the @Kenny_Cloudy Twitter account through which McCloud reveals facts about poverty, comments on the weather and talks about living with his daschund Skye.

We hope Kenny’s blog will help show people that a life on benefits is not aspirational and that turning around your circumstances can be really tough

John Downie, director of public affairs at SCVO, said: “After a period of recouperation after losing his job as a weatherman, Kenny McCloud is back in the public eye. His blog reveals some of the difficulties he’s facing making ends meet on benefits, while also exploring the lives of other people living in poverty who he is meeting.

“We’re launching a second phase of the Scotland’s Outlook campaign because we’re aware that further cuts to benefits and services for Scotland’s poorest means life is getting harder for people living in poverty.”

The blog, which was launched in July, highlights issues about food and fuel poverty, the difficulties of claiming benefits, issues surrounding older people in poverty, and prejudice against benefits claimants.

It will go on to report on the difficulties that Kenny faces as he tries to find a new job and live in reduced circumstances.

“SCVO is concerned that the blame culture towards people in poverty is growing and we want to do more to tackle this,” said Downie. “We hope Kenny’s blog will help show people that a life on benefits is not aspirational and that turning around your circumstances can be really tough.”

TFN readers are being encouraged to contact McCloud with ideas for issues they think he should be covering in his blog.

The disgraced weatherman has limited work experience and is facing up to the reality that another television job will be hard to find. He is, therefore, now looking for volunteering opportunities to fill his time and help him develop skills. If you can think of a role that would suit him, get in touch via the About Me section on the blog.

Blog post: Coffee off the menu

This week I faced the inevitable and went to sign on, which was a bit of a comedown when just a couple of months ago I was hobnobbing with Ewan McGregor at the Scottish Film & TV Awards. (Actually he only asked me where the toilets were, but I gave quite a detailed reply.)

I’d expected the Job Centre to be full of argumentative fat people, like the cast of Benefits Street, but everyone was very ordinary and polite. No offence to my fellow jobseekers, but you need to be a lot more interesting if you want to be on reality TV!

Filling out the forms was a bit confusing, to say the least. I’m pretty sure computers have been around for a while, but I had to keep giving the same basic information over and over, and some of the questions were just baffling. Do I look as though I’m receiving a war widows pension?

Eventually it was all sorted out, and apparently I’m going to get just over £70 a week Jobseeker’s Allowance. That didn’t sound too bad, so on the way home I stopped off at a coffee shop for lunch. Nothing fancy, just a mega-hazelnut choca-mocha, a BBQ-style tex-mex beany panini and a blueberry blowout magnificent muffin.

Then I realised I’d spent my entire daily budget on lunch. I have a feeling I won’t be hanging out in my favourite local global coffee chain for a while.

Yours feeling the pinch,

Kenny x

 

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