On Saturday 21, June, from 2pm until 4:30pm, at the Woodside Hall in Glasgow, the Poverty Truth Commission will be Turning up the Volume on Poverty. It will be a fantastic opportunity to listen to, and understand, an inclusive model for addressing poverty, which places those from marginalised communities at its heart.
An event in June, the run-up to the referendum in September, poses a great chance for everyone across Scotland to ask themselves what kind of society they would like to see and realise, regardless of the constitutional framework.
The referendum debate so far has seen many politicians and representatives from both sides trade blows on a few specific issues, claiming to have the best interests of the population at heart. What these important individuals appear to have done little of, however, is take the time to sit back and listen to the people they are claiming to speak for.
The Poverty Truth Commission’s model of working, on the other hand, places this listening process at its centre, recognising it as the foundation for the creation of a sustainable anti-poverty strategy.
The Commission draws together people from many different walks of life across Scottish society who might not normally have the chance to meet and discuss issues important to them. It aims to build bridges and make connections to ensure those with experience of poverty have their voices heard and are listened to properly. Those invited to work with the PTC, known as commissioners, are drawn both from these communities and from those deemed to be key decision makers in Scotland.
The focus of the Commission is then shaped by the conversations which take place within this special group of people. However, this is not merely a talking shop. Instead, it generates a clear path forward, combining the power and insights of the stories of those with experience, with the connections and reach of those well placed in society.
The Commission’s journey over the last two years has seen it tackle a range of different issues which affect those on low incomes, including the welfare reforms, sanctions, the costs of being poor, stigma, food poverty and in-work poverty. This work has seen our commissioners hold serious and frank dialogues and discussions with politicians at local and national level, speak at conferences, participate in local authority decision making processes, engage with the media, and develop partnerships with other third sector organisations.
The strength at the core of the Commission is the close relationship which develops between commissioners. When these individuals come together, the formalities and titles often evident at meetings are left at the door, as the conversations place everyone on an equal footing and level of importance. It is this recognition of the inherent expertise of all which is the bedrock of the Commission’s approach.
In June, we will have assembled a new round of commissioners who will generate a fresh range of issues which they believe to be most pertinent. We very much hope that the work of the Commission is of interest to you. If you think it is, then why not come along in June as we report back on our work and look forward with anticipation to the future.
To register at this free event click here; call 0141 248 2911; or email firstname.lastname@example.org #TurnItUp2014