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Three women in north Sheffield share their lockdown insights, including on autism, friendly support, digital exclusion and staying connected

Carlie, left, and Charlotte, from Parson Cross in Sheffield

We all need to stay connected, now more than ever.

Church Action on Poverty and many of our partners have been finding new ways to ensure we sustain community, and even build new relationships that will outlast the coronavirus outbreak.

In the second episode of our new podcast, The Cast to End Poverty, we hear from three people in Sheffield, with particular insights into how the lockdown has impacted people who are most marginalised.

Charlotte works for the Parson Cross Initiative (PXI) in north Sheffield. She has already written two excellent blogs about the consequences of the outbreak in her neighbourhood, and she updates listeners on PXI’s work.

The project has always run groups around music, gardening, cooking, art and food, bringing people together through shared passions.

Charlotte says: “The social aspects of what we did have had to be put on hold, so it’s had a big impact. We’ve still been able to offer emergency food but people are missing the social contact, that’s the thing we’re really picking up on.

“We’ve set up something called keeping close with PXI because we wanted to say to people that we’re still there and that we still wanted to keep contact so people have been sharing their news and their craft projects they’ve been doing.”

On the podcast, Charlotte introduces two local residents: Carlie and Michelle.

The Parson Cross area of Sheffield

You're not on your own

Carlie lives alone with her two children, Isaac, aged six, and Lillie, aged 12, and she is also a co-founder of a support group, Autism Hope. Michelle works in local schools and with families that are on the margins.

Each of them had recorded conversations with Charlotte, which feature on the podcast.

Carlie tells listeners: “We’re coping; just about. There have been some extremely difficult times. Isaac, who has autism and severe learning difficulties struggles the most, so not being able to access school and having his routines taken away has had a huge impact on him. As the weeks have gone it is has got worse.”

She says Lillie has been amazing and weekly calls from school have been useful, but Isaac misses his grandma, his routine, and ordinary visits to the supermarket.

The greatest support has come from the autism support group, which has been keeping in touch online and through phone messages.

Carlie says: “You’re not on your own; other people do understand and are going through the same thing. One of my friends has two children with autism and has lost her own mum but has been sending little gifts to Lillie.”

She says:

“I think this has been a glimpse for everyone to see what it is like to feel isolated and to not be able to access things that other people can”.

She says she hopes that as society redesigns itself after this outbreak, families don’t have to get to breaking point before help is available.

Carlie at an Autism Hope event

Enduring support

Charlotte says: “There are obviously a lot of families who are really struggling with lockdown and they had been marginalised and felt isolated before and I think that’s what Carlie expresses really well.

“I also think what she expresses well is how they were supporting each other before, on facebook, calling one another – that support was happening before and has been going on throughout this and I took from our conversation what a strong group they are.”

You can hear Charlotte and Carlie’s full conversation on the latest episode of our podcast, Cast To End Poverty, available on all podcast platforms now. On the same episode, you can also hear Michelle talking about she and colleagues have responded to the crisis, including by providing laptops to help combat digital exclusion.

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How one estate pulled together and how covid could change it forever

The Collective, Pilot – Church responses to the crisis

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

During this pandemic, communities have come together to support each other. In this week’s gathering we discussed at coordinated responses to the crisis and mutual aid.

We have these gatherings every Tuesday at 2 pm. Join us on Zoom to connect with people across the country to hear each other’s stories, discuss issues that we are facing and share advice.

Join us on Zoom by clicking the link below, or call 0131 460 1196 and using the meeting ID: 193 697 232

Sam Dyer from Cambridge Sustainable Food told us about the formation of community food hubs in Cambridge. There had already been a food poverty alliance in Cambridge for two years, working with frontline organisations such as foodbanks, housing providers, churches and the city council, so there were already relationships and networks in place at the start of the crisis. However, a lot of the kinds of provision that were already happening, such as community lunches, fell away because of social distancing, so people had to come up with new ways of meeting pre-existing need as well as coping with new demand.

The city council have been very supportive in Cambridge of the mutual aid groups that have sprung up. The alliance has been working with these mutual aid groups to establish community food hubs. Sam says that the challenge going into the future is how to move on from the emergency food provision model into something that is run by the community.

We also heard from Jayne Gosnall who spoke about the importance of mutual aid and supporting one another in the recovery from addiction, as well as getting through this crisis. Jayne is involved in several WhatsApp groups that help keep people connected through sharing things like crafting ideas and creative writing.

She also talked about Self-Reliant Groups and how they are supporting each other, even when they can’t meet in person, and how some people are even becoming more connected than before by coming together online. Jayne said that these groups and connections may seem on the surface to be ‘quite a soft thing’ but are actually having a profound impact. You can find out more about Self-Reliant Groups here.

Next week we will be looking at how the crisis has impacted the lives of children and young people and will be joined by Rys Farthing (Researcher), Tia Clarke (Food Ambassador), Faith Marriott (Nightsafe) and Zoe McIntyre (Food Foundation). Join us on Tuesday at 2 pm.

Over the following few weeks, the gatherings will be focusing on:

  • 2 June:  Children and young people
  •  9 June: Global solidarity

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How one estate pulled together and how covid could change it forever

The Collective, Pilot – Church responses to the crisis

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A report from End Hunger Cornwall

Report from a conference held in October 2019, highlighting the impact of food poverty and food insecurity throughout Cornwall. 

Running a Good Society conversation

Viral Song

You Can’t Eat the View

Good journalism can be undermined by damaging picture choice

by Gavin Aitchison, media unit coordinator at Church Action on Poverty

You will have seen them, though almost certainly won’t know who they are. Two young boys, kicking a football around in Glasgow.

They’re outside a building that has graffiti on it and there’s a shopping trolley in the foreground. It’s a brief snapshot in time, captured by a photographer on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008. But somehow, a few images of this fleeting moment have taken on a life of their own.

For more than a decade, these photos have been among the most-used stock images for media reports about poverty. Even when articles are nuanced, insightful and constructive, they are often accompanied by these clunking and misleading images. Now, as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak threatens to sweep many more UK families into poverty, they are back again.

On the off chance that you don’t know what pictures we’re talking about, you can see them on the website of Getty Images. Alternatively, conduct a google image search for ‘uk poverty’ and you’ll see them in results like this (the second, third and seventh shots on the top row are all from this shoot and appear countless times in media stories).

There are three principal things wrong with the way these images are used:

  1. They are very old and now out of date
  2. What is happening in the photos is hardly ever explained, and is not what you think
  3. They undermine and hinder attempts to tackle poverty in the UK

These pictures are undoubtedly striking and powerful, but they carry an othering effect that has grown with time. They are laden with visual tropes likely to prompt concern. There’s an abandoned trolley, unaccompanied children, a vandalised building, litter, unkempt paths. The message to viewers is: poverty exists in streets like this. And, therefore, not where you live. These scenes (even before we get to the misleading way the photos are used) display a particularly dramatised manifestastion of poverty, which skews and narrows public understanding of what poverty is.

It’s said that the camera never lies, but when you see these photos in newspaper after newspaper, they do not tell the truth.

Seeking the street

A Google Earth image of part of west Glasgow, near Govan. The frequently-used Getty photos were shot in the streets in the top-left corner

I decided to try to find where these photos were taken, to see whether they reflected reality. Then, when searching online, I found that Paul Climie, a blogger in Glasgow, had already done exactly that.

Thanks to a recognisable fence and petrol station in the background of one photo, he was able to use local knowledge to pinpoint the location. His compelling analysis show how false, dangerous and unhealthy these photos are. With Paul’s permission, I share extracts of his post below.

He writes:

“…The other thing I know about the type of tenements I recognised in these pictures, is that they too were demolished shortly after the pictures were taken in 2008.

Nobody lived in those boarded up flats. Nobody was there to care for the garden or keep an eye out for vandalism. The images fit a handy stereotype, which I believe is harmful and not particularly accurate or representative….

“These photographs of children playing amidst boarded up and vandalised houses are deceptive, … [they were] taken at a time when they were awaiting demolition and were empty… Yet every few weeks, these derelict tenements awaiting demolition are re-built in the pages and websites of the national media to illustrate ‘childhood poverty’.”

So points 1 and 2: The photos are now nearly 12 years old, and they do not show anyone’s homes, but rather a derelict building awaiting demolition on a site that was then redeveloped.

Getty, it should be said, includes this note on its site, stating that the buildings have since been demolished, but that point never appears when the photo is reused by other media. The unexplained photo remains a dominant but false characterisation of poverty. It misrepresents that neighbourhood, but the damage is much wider.

You might say it’s only an image, that lots of stock images are used by the media, and that people will read beyond headlines and photos. But no. We know pictures have an impact. People think in images and photos trigger ingrained thoughts and ideas that can help or hinder the way we see ourselves, others and our environment.

Here, the photos matter because they make poverty look remote, when we know it isn’t. Between a quarter and a fifth of people in Britain live in poverty. It is in every county, town and city in the country.

As Paul says:

“I would argue that the pictures used repeatedly to present an image of poverty reinforce this idea that the story is not about “people like me”. I don’t live in a house like that. I supervise my kids, clean my close and cut my grass. These images feed a narrative of “them and us”…

That’s the problem I have with these unsupervised children in a neglected building illustrating every single story we read on the topic, this “othering”. They are not like “us”, these poor people. We wouldn’t end up in that situation. It must be the fault of the parents, not society or government.”

Analysis of media coverage of poverty has repeatedly identified the ‘othering’ nature of reports. We aspire to be a society in which we all pull together to improve things, and where we draw on our shared humanity to tackle social injustice. Imagery that creates ‘us and them’ division undermines that. [See, for instance, work by Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2008, the LSE in 2014, and Lankelly Chase in 2020]

The images above shows the 2008 scene, and the same spot in 2019, as captured by Paul. He writes:

“Here is the reality of that derelict street today. It may still be an area with problems, but I think we need to find a more nuanced way to talk about poverty. The stereotype we get accompanying these news stories is just that. A stereotype.”

What does poverty in the UK look like? It’s a class of primary school children, a quarter of whom will be held back by structures beyond their control and an economy that denies their family an adequate income. It’s a parent forgoing meals because even though they have several jobs, none offers enough hours in the week to cover the bills. It’s someone with long-term disabilities, who is suddenly expected to seek work they cannot manage, or see even more of their support removed by the state. It’s a child who cannot keep up with their friends during the coronavirus lockdown, because they are digitally excluded, unable to access online learning resources. It’s an underpaid worker in London, forced to compromise their safety in these worrying times, when others can choose not to. It’s a young couple who have had to move back in with parents, because the rents in their city have soared far faster than wages. It’s a hidden carer, looking after their elderly parents at the same time as caring for their own kids, so unable to pursue the opportunities that might otherwise open up.

Photos like the Glasgow ones mislead, stigmatise and stereotype, and in doing so they exacerbate ignorance. They reduce people’s ability to understand others’ lives, and therefore hinder attempts to bring people together and develop a shared understanding that can identify and bring about meaningful social change. From a journalistic perspective, these photos also hinder the very purpose of the news media, namely to inform and improve public understanding.

At Church Action on Poverty, we have spent the past five years working to challenge misleading and damaging media coverage of poverty, and we’re working with others now to press for more considered picture selection.

Others are raising similar concerns, such as here in the What’s The Problem? project.

On this particular issue, I’ve decided to act.  When I see that photo now, I will email the newspaper editor, point them to Paul’s blog post, and ask them to rethink the way the portray poverty in the UK.  It’s a small step, but it might just help us to end the stigmatisation of people in poverty.

If you see these photos, or other stock images that you feel exacerbate false stereotypes of poverty, let us know and you and we can together help work towards better coverage.

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How one estate pulled together and how covid could change it forever

The Collective, Pilot – Church responses to the crisis

A place to call home

Dozens join e-choir for rendition of a Disney classic

New songs for a strange land

Way Maker

Running a Good Society conversation

Something to wonder at and ponder on….

Gathering on the Margins – 23 June

1 city, 8 tales: sudden poverty & an outpouring of goodwill

Be in my Bubble

Gathering on the Margins – 16 June

Gathering on the Margins – 9 June

Church Action on Poverty in Sheffield Update, June 2020

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

This is the third and final part in a series of blogs about building a positive social vision for our life together after the pandemic.

“A revolutionary moment in the world’s history is a time for revolutions, not for patching”
(William Beveridge) 

We don’t want to propose specific policies here. Rather, we are looking for the vision and values that will guide us as we journey out of the pandemic and into a new world.  What would it mean if we sought to:

  • Build stronger communities based on shared values of compassion and solidarity, and stronger relationships with our neighbours – including people who have been marginalised, ignored and mistrusted in the past.
  • Ensure that everyone has a voice in decisions about how we build back better – most especially people who have been marginalised and excluded 
  • Build systems and policies that are rooted in community, security, solidarity, sharing and mutual aid, rather than competition and profit. 
  • Invest properly in the public services that express our interdependence and connection to one another, including the benefits system.

“The pain and cost of rebuilding must be borne by those with the broadest shoulders, not with another 10 years of austerity,”
(
Justin Welby)

Are we prepared to speak out boldly and prophetically, with a more positive vision of the future, while people still remember the deep values of community and solidarity that are sustaining us all during the pandemic?

Questions

  • How can the voices of those who are usually marginalised be brought to the centre of public debates as to how we build a better society?
  • What are the ways in which communities and society have responded to the pandemic that we would want to build on in future?
  • What kind of ‘revolutionary ideas’ might now be more feasible and help create a fairer society which enables us all to be more secure and more resilient in future? What would we need to do to bring them about?
Communications and Supporter Relations Manager

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How one estate pulled together and how covid could change it forever

The Collective, Pilot – Church responses to the crisis

A place to call home

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

At this week's Gathering on the Margins, we discussed our visions of how we can build a better world after the pandemic.

We have these gatherings every Tuesday at 2 pm. Join us on Zoom to connect with people across the country to hear each other’s stories, discuss issues that we are facing and share advice.

Join us on Zoom by clicking the link below, or call 0131 460 1196 and using the meeting ID: 193 697 232

Many different organisations are thinking about how we can do things differently after the pandemic, and hold onto the values of solidarity and compassion that have sustained us through lockdown. We invited some of them to share thier thoughts and spark discussion.

First, Barry Knight spoke about the idea of ‘building back better’:

Barry Knight is involved in ‘Rethinking Poverty’, a project of the Webb Memorial Trust. He challenged us especiallly to think about locally-led, community-based ways of building a better world, rooted in ‘power with’ rather than ‘power over’ other people. He explores all these ideas in more detail in this article.

We also had an input from Paul Wood, the Head of Advocacy at Tearfund, about their ‘World Rebooted’  initiative:

Tearfund see three big shifts happening during the crisis: 

  1. From ‘I alone’ to ‘We together’
  2. From valuing productivity above all else to valuing life
  3. From small tweaks to a new way of being

Read more about ‘The World Rebooted’ here.

Finally, Emma Temple of the Student Christian Movement shared her reflections on the ‘new normal’:

The speakers sparked a very creative discussion. We shared stories of what has given us all hope during lockdown, and talked about what needs to change.

Many participants felt that we had only scratched the surface of this vital topic, so we may well return to it in future Gatherings. Church Action on Poverty is publishing a series of blogs exploring the ideas – ‘New wine, new wineskins’ – and we would welcome your comments and input.

Modified version of a cartoon by Chris Riddell (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2020/mar/28/coronavirus-everything-must-change-cartoon)

Next week we will be looking at coordinated responses, mutual aid and resilience. Join us on Tuesday to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences.

Over the following few weeks, the gatherings will be focussing on:

  • 26 May: Coordinated responses and resilience
  • 2 June:  Children and young people
  • 9 June: Global solidarity

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How one estate pulled together and how covid could change it forever

The Collective, Pilot – Church responses to the crisis

A place to call home

Dozens join e-choir for rendition of a Disney classic

New songs for a strange land

Way Maker

Running a Good Society conversation

Something to wonder at and ponder on….

Gathering on the Margins – 23 June

1 city, 8 tales: sudden poverty & an outpouring of goodwill

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

This is the second in a series of blogs about building a positive social vision for our life together after the pandemic.

Modified version of a cartoon by Chris Riddell (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2020/mar/28/coronavirus-everything-must-change-cartoon)

“No one puts new wine into old wineskins.”
(Mark 2:21–22)

The churches have a distinctive contribution to make on this journey. Christians are people of hope. What can Christian faith contribute towards a shared vision of a better world that we might be able to help build together?

Scripture tells us we need to read “the signs of the times” and recognise a kairos moment – those crucial times that demand action, conversion and transformation. Scripture also tells us that we mustn’t be daunted by the kairos moment – it is an opportunity and a moment of grace. The way communities have responded to the pandemic has itself shown us the way forward.

“We [must] not settle for business as usual but seize the moment of change to make the world a bit more as it should be, a bit more real.”
(The Centre for Theology and Community)

The Gospels contain many stories of healing. Often, the people Jesus heals have been isolated and marginalised – and their healing restores them to relationship and community. Those stories can remind us that recovering from the coronavirus outbreak means strengthening our communities as well as healing from illness.

We could make this a jubilee – a time when injustices are redressed, debts are forgiven, relationships are started anew, and society is reborn. 

At the same time, the way that lockdown has allowed nature to re-emerge and flourish reminds us of the concept of Sabbath. Theologian Greg Smith has said: “The account of the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians concludes ‘The land finally enjoyed its Sabbath rest, lying desolate until the 70 years were fulfilled, just as the prophet had said.’ Could perhaps this pandemic period lead to a similar Sabbath effect through which a greater human flourishing, and a respite from the desolation of God’s good earth eventually emerge?”

Questions

  • Which Christian themes, values, ideas or stories from the Bible or elsewhere – e.g. Jubilee, wilderness, healing, Sabbath – resonate and could be most valuable to us now?

  • Could we envision a society and economy in which human dignity and flourishing (wellbeing) was valued more highly than wealth or economic growth as an end in itself? What would be needed to make this a reality?

Communications and Supporter Relations Manager

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How one estate pulled together and how covid could change it forever

The Collective, Pilot – Church responses to the crisis

A place to call home

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A report from our 14 May online discussions on what it means to be church on the margins during the pandemic.

(Video reflection by Alison Webster, Diocese of Oxford)

What can we learn from faith communities in terms of how they have fared in the current context?

  • Examples of churches in Edinburgh and Birmingham – people have been looking after each other, checking in and delivering food.
  • Churches should offer specific help, people feel awkward asking for help.
  • Church of England issued guidance about not going out/ not delivering food/distributing leaflets, etc. … Is the church insular in this situation?
  • Some older people wanted to go out and ignore the message to stay at home, but when they realised that it was to protect the NHS as well as themselves they were happier to comply.
  • Being embedded in the community (pre-crisis) makes it easier to connect/ reach out to people in need.
  • Influence can be more important than power.
  • Can the older and younger generations learn from each other? (e.g. technology skills, insight, etc. )
  • What does ‘service’ look like? Who are you serving with online or offline church?
  • Connections between people are more important than the number of people attending church.

What have we as individuals learned from the power we have/lack?

  • We should turn the Thursday clap into ‘power’ to campaign for a Living Wage for NHS/care workers/key workers.
  • How you use your power is important.
  • Clergy/ministers who hold food bank vouchers have power over people’s fortunes.
  • People with disabilities have been doing church online for years because mainstream church was not accessible/welcoming. The message that online is less / ‘will do for now’ is hurtful to people who have done church this way for years.
  • Now we don’t all have the power to fix things due to social isolation.
  • There is a divide between people who want to get back to the church building as soon as possible and those who don’t.
  • Some people have to go back to work due to their financial situation – powerlessness in this context. It’s a privilege to have the choice to stay at home.
  • We do have power that we may not recognise (as a Christian community). By working together we can be powerful.
  • Whose voices do we listen to? We need to listen to the ‘powerless’.
  • ‘People are hungry and we are talking about bricks [buildings].’

A poem by Ruth Wells

God snuck home.
No longer bound by the
expectations of a ‘consecrated’ building
She’s concentrated her efforts on breaking out.
Now in the comfort of a well worn dining table
she shares some bread,
with some friends.
And she laughs.
And she weeps.
In the sacred space of home.

Research and Information Officer

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

This is the first in a series of blogs about building a positive social vision for our life together after the pandemic.

“[The pandemic] is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
(Arundhati Roy)

The pandemic has caused bigger changes to our lives, systems and economies than anything in living memory. It has removed old certainties – most obviously in the way that a right-wing UK government has launched a radical programme to protect jobs and lives, based on collective action in service of the common good.  

“I’m very confident we’ll get this thing done and beat coronavirus but it depends on collective, resolute action.”
(
Boris Johnson)

It has reminded us all of what matters most. Community responses, mutual aid networks, raising funds and applauding the NHS express the values we all share: community, compassion, supporting one another.  Similarly, many of the values placed on people and their roles have been turned upside-down: Key workers we now applaud were written off as ‘unskilled’ just a couple of months ago. 

At the same time, the pandemic has exposed the injustices and inequalities in our society. People who were already vulnerable or in poverty have been hardest hit both by the pandemic itself, and by the economic shutdown, as they have lost jobs, income and been forced to turn to food banks in record numbers. Millions have discovered for the first time that our benefits system is not well designed to keep people afloat in crisis. The longer-term economic cost is also likely to be enormous, with the prospect of a return to mass unemployment, increased economic insecurity, and large numbers being swept deeper into poverty.

Yet as we start to contemplate moving out of lockdown, we don’t have to go back to the way things were. There is hope, because even in the midst of the pandemic we have been reminded of the values that could enable us to build a better world. 

And when we emerge once again,
Instead of going back to normal,
May we go ahead, remembering
what we missed, and what we didn’t.
(Liz Delafield)

Questions

  • What are the shared values that have come to the fore in our communities that we would like to hold onto after the pandemic?
  • What do we think are the signs that this is a moment for social change and transformation (what Christians might describe as a ‘kairos’ moment)?
Communications and Supporter Relations Manager

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How one estate pulled together and how covid could change it forever

The Collective, Pilot – Church responses to the crisis

A place to call home

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

As we live through the pandemic and lockdown, we are on a journey together. Church Action on Poverty invites you to share your thoughts on how we can 'build back better' after the pandemic.

Modified version of a cartoon by Chris Riddell (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2020/mar/28/coronavirus-everything-must-change-cartoon)

This is a crucial moment in our nation’s life. Some talk of the importance of ‘building back better’.  Others, inspired by Christian tradition, might describe this as a ‘kairos’ moment.

The pandemic has cast a light on the injustices and inequalities in our society.  At the same time, the responses we’ve seen in our communities have reminded us of the values that we all share, and which should guide us on this journey.

Surveys reveal a huge desire in the population at large for permanent changes in society, with only 9% of Britons wanting life to return to ‘normal’ after the coronavirus outbreak is over.  While not wanting to diminish the pain, suffering and terrible cost of the current crisis in lives and livelihoods, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity.

We know now, more than ever, that poverty is an outrage against humanity. It robs people of dignity, freedom and hope, of power over their own lives. We continue to believe that our vision – an end to poverty in the UK – can become a reality.

As we start to think about the future, what kind of compelling shared vision might inspire a wider movement for social transformation in our communities, and wider society?

Are there new ways we can speak and act together to realise a vision of the UK transformed into a country where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty?

Over the next week, we’ll share a series of blogs exploring different aspects of this question. Please watch this space, and share your thoughts and ideas by commenting!

On 19 May, our Gathering on the Margins explored the question too. 

Communications and Supporter Relations Manager

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How one estate pulled together and how covid could change it forever

Sheffield Poverty Update August 2020

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern