Jane and Sadia, two of our new Commissioners will be blogging each month, sharing their thoughts, experiences and what it means to be a Poverty Truth Commissioner.
In the fourth of the series, Sadia reflects on stories she has heard within the Commission and others within her own community.
I have found being part of the Commission fantastic and inspiring. I am learning a lot from listening to everyone’s stories.
I have been touched by hearing about how one commissioner lost his job due to ill health and spiraled down into poverty. I also was moved by another commissioner’s story of how poverty affected their mental health.
Listening to the issues in my community I am aware that many are ashamed of using food banks. Brexit and the uncertainty it has brought has made people terrified. They are afraid that they will lose their jobs that companies will go elsewhere in Europe to find workers. How will Scotland suffer?
Benefit cuts are affecting families: mothers walking further with children looking for food banks. Worrying about cuts, terrified. I wish I could help them but I can’t, I fight to look for a way. This poverty is not going away; it is getting bad – more families getting poorer. People worrying, and getting mental health problems.
Worry, worry. Counting tins in cupboards.
We have to fight. Fight for poverty to go away. The poor are just looking for their daily bread, no luxuries. I tell women: if you are ashamed (of using food banks) those children are going hungry. Feed them.
One woman I know who was pregnant got asylum here. She had to move from furnished temporary accommodation into a flat with nothing in it. Completely bare: she went into labour and when she came out of hospital she could not stay in her flat. It had completely nothing in it. No cooker, no fridge, no carpets, no bed, nothing. A friend moved her daughter into her bedroom so that the woman and her child could have a bed when they got out of hospital. She had to stay there for a month.