Challenge poverty in Scotland? Aye, we can!


The Poverty Alliance's Carla McCormack looks forward to Challenge Poverty Week

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12th October 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

This year Challenge Poverty Week runs from 15 – 21 October and with almost 100 organisations taking part it stands to be bigger and better than ever. With new messaging designed alongside the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Frameworks Institute, the campaign has taken on a positive, solutions based approach looking at what we can achieve in Scotland. 

In its fifth year, the week aims to raise awareness of the existence of poverty in Scotland, the solutions to poverty and how we all benefit from tackling poverty. Organisations taking part range from community based organisations such as Urban Roots in Glasgow to Shetland Council to the Scottish Government. The full calendar of activities can be found here.

There are currently over one million people living in poverty in Scotland – one fifth of the population. It cannot be right that in 2017 there are people who are forced to rely on foodbanks to feed themselves and their families. However, while this may seem like an insurmountable challenge we know that we can tackle poverty, and we know that the solutions include boosting incomes and reducing costs. With new powers on the way to the Scottish Parliament, there has never been a better time to think about the type of Scotland we want to live in and how we achieve that.  

Carla McCormack

Carla McCormack

Across Scotland, there is a huge amount of anti-poverty work that happens on a regular basis and Challenge Poverty Week is about recognising this. Too often communities are judged by their places in the SIMD rankings and as a result we miss all the great things that that community has to offer. Priesthill in Glasgow is an area with high levels of deprivation but when we asked local community development officer Anthony Morrow about the community he said:

‘The strength of communities is reliant upon the relationships that people have with each other. People in Priesthill and Househillwood really care about each other and their community and want to support each other to have better lives."

Testament to this, Priesthill has two great Challenge Poverty Week activities lined up which you can find information about here. It is essential to tackling poverty that we recognise that every community has assets, and we need to look beyond headline statistics and engage with people. 

Real poverty exists in Scotland today, but it doesn’t need to stay that way. By making the most of the powers we have and working with people with lived experience of poverty we can start to make a difference.  It isn’t too late to get involved and you can get more information on either the Poverty Alliance website or by emailing [email protected]

By working together we can challenge poverty in Scotland, and ensure that everyone in Scotland is offered the opportunity to fully participate in our society.