Gathering on the Margins – 14 April

On Tuesday we had the third of our Gatherings on the Margins on Zoom. This week we talked about how lockdown is affecting the lives of disabled people.

We are having 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.

This week we were focussing on how lockdown is affecting the lives of disabled people. Stef Benstead, author of Second Class Citizens, shared some of her insights. Stef has been exploring the problems that disabled people face in accessing the support they need for the last eight years. She told us that one of the issues now is that many people have a lack of understanding of what the problems were before the virus struck, which means that there is a lack of understanding of what the issues are now. Stef told us about the experiences of a many different disabled people, especially the difficulties they are facing shopping or accessing food.

Read Stef’s blog post Living in Lockdown: sustainability here.

The additional difficulties accessing food many disabled and chronically ill people face was a common theme in the discussion. Not all those who need food deliveries are able to get them, and Penny explained that even if you are lucky enough to get a delivery slot, the food you order might not arrive, or what you receive might not be adequate. Ben pointed out that even government food parcels might not be adequate, for example, a tin of tomatoes is not suitable for a 94-year-old with dementia who wouldn’t be able to open it, let alone cook with it.

We also heard how the lockdown can exacerbate mental health conditions. Those who rely on others to shop for them may feel guilty about sending others out to get their food or frustrated at their lack of independence. The lack of social contact can make anxiety and depression much worse and, as Penny pointed out, vulnerable people told to self-isolate by the government can feel that they are being banished to their houses

Both Penny and Andrew talked about how those needing medical treatment are left in a difficult position as their treatments are postponed or cancelled, and they are left without the support they need to cope with their medical conditions.

We were also joined by Evan Odell from Disability Rights UK. He talked about concerns about social care, and how the Coronavirus Bill allows local authorities to suspend their responsibilities under the Care Act, but it is unclear exactly how this process will be overseen.

Next week we will be discussing the benefits system. Join us on Zoom at 2 pm on the 21st April.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for these gatherings, contact me at felicity@church-poverty.org.uk

Gathering on the Margins – 12 May

Church on the Margins: resilience

Are we in the same boat? Some creative responses

Shopping online? You can raise money to loosen the grip of poverty

Listen up! New podcast to help end poverty

Church on the Margins in the time of coronavirus

Solidarity and sacrifice

The prophetic imagination

Where are the margins?

Who is my neighbour?

Gathering on the Margins – 5 May

Are we all in the same boat? Share your thoughts for our video

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

Gathering on the Margins – 7 April

On Tuesday we had another of our weekly Gatherings on the Margins, this time focusing especially on the issue of food insecurity.

We are having 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.

These gatherings seek to provide connection, inspiration, news, encouragement and ideas for action for people across the country who are concerned about or seeking to respond to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on people and communities on the margins.

On Tuesday we were joined by Kay Johnson from the Lancashire Larder, who told us about how they have turned their café into a service for delivering cooked meals to people. The Larder are also running a scheme during the school holidays for families in Preston that would usually access free school meals. They are providing these families with ingredient packs and daily video recipes, so the kids can cook their own healthy meals. You can find out more about the Lancashire Larder here.

We heard from Bernadette Askins about how a foodbank in South Tyneside is adapting to the higher demand  and increased difficulty in accessing food supply, while doing what they can to keep everyone safe. They are now doing deliveries for people who have to isolate and who have no car, so they don’t have to use public transport. They have also started delivering Family Food Packs with five days’ worth of food.

Tricia, from Bridging the Gap, filled us in on various different projects in Glasgow that are keeping people connected and providing food for those who need it.

Ben Pearson told us about some of the experiences of some young people that he works with in Lancashire. They would usually have free school meals, but the replacements are not accessible. For example, where the school had provided supermarket vouchers, access to the internet and email was required to receive them, and the use of a printer and paper in order use them in shops. Furthermore, the vouchers are only valid in the mainstream supermarkets, which are not accessible to those who do not live near them.

Overall, this gathering gave people the opportunity to express their frustrations about the way that lockdown makes accessing food so much more difficult for some people. But, despite all our frustrations, we ended on a positive note. James Henderson from Transforming Communities Together told us about the #peopleofhope initiative, which is aiming to spread positivity and hope. You can here him talking about it here:

We also heard from Matt Sowerby, our Poet in Digital Residence. He wants to hear people’s stories and experiences so he can work with you on expressing them creatively. You can contact him by email at Mattsowerby.poetry@gmail.com, or on Twitter: @matt_sourbee, if you want to get involved.

The next gathering will be on Tuesday 14 April, on the theme of people with disabilities. You can join us on Zoom by clicking the link below:

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

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

New pantry friendship scheme to avert food shortages for thousands

8 April 2020

Thousands of people could be protected from food shortages during the coronavirus crisis, after the launch of a friendship project was fast-tracked

The Friends of Your Local Pantry scheme will raise cash from individuals and businesses, to ensure food provision for neighbours at risk of severe poverty.

The Your Local Pantry network has 14 member run food clubs around the UK, providing members with regular access to supermarket food at greatly reduced prices. The pantries pre-empt hunger and loosening the grip of poverty, freeing up more income for other costs and essential bills.

In March, the number of visits to the pantries passed 1,000 in a month for the first time, but the coronavirus crisis has threatened supply chains and organisers anticipate increased need over the coming months.

Today, the project is launching its Friends of Your Local Pantry scheme so that through one-off or monthly donations, supporters can prevent pantries from running low on staple foods, ensuring members can stay afloat in tough times.

The Your Local Pantry Team at Lighthouse in Middleton, in March 2019

Pantries offer fresh and chilled food, as well as frozen, long-life and tinned goods. Members can routinely choose what they put in their basket, typically being able to access around £20 of food for just £3 or £4 a week. Nationally, pantries have 1,400 members and provide for 3,600 adults and children, with pantries in Greater Manchester, London, the West Midlands, Cardiff, Preston, Stoke-on-Trent and Liverpool.

Church Action on Poverty runs the national network, following the success of a local scheme developed by Stockport Homes in 2014. Pantries source food from Fareshare and local suppliers, and members pay a weekly subscription, which allows them to access a set number of heavily-discounted items each week.

Gillian Oliver, pantry project worker at Church Action on Poverty, said: “The coronavirus crisis has caused sudden hardship and natural fear for people across the country. We know it will mean many more parents losing work, children potentially going hungry, and people worrying about food security. For that reason, we have brought forward the launch of our friendship scheme, so our supporters and the wider public can act now to prevent hunger.”

The Your Local Pantry team in Preston, in 2019

Pantries are a proven solution across the country, preventing thousands of people from being swept deeper into poverty. People have already been phoning us asking how they can donate, and the friends scheme allows us to respond to that compassion in the best way. Signing up could not be easier – all the details are at www.yourlocalpantry.co.uk/friend

Some pantries have already adapted since the coronavirus lockdown began. The pantry in Peckham has had to move to another room to enable safe distancing, but has also reduced its fee and the food it can provide, due to supply interruptions. The pantry in Smethwick had to relocate when the library where it was based closed.

Individuals and businesses are being asked to sign up to the friends scheme. They will be able to select a single pantry to receive 75% of their donation, with the rest used equally across the whole network, or they can donate to the central fund.

All donors will be acknowledged in Your Local Pantry communications or events, and the largest business supporters will be supported to include the work in their corporate social responsibility portfolio. Businesses pledging £50 a month of more can attend and contribute to the Your Local Pantry AGM and can request a talk to their business from the leader of their local project.

Notes to editors

3 key ways we will be challenging poverty this autumn: Join us

3 key ways we will be challenging poverty this autumn: Join us

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You can’t eat the view

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

Staying connected: 3 stories from Sheffield

Gathering on the Margins – 26 May

You can help out today...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea.

Running a Good Society conversation

Gathering on the Margins – 23 June

Gathering on the Margins – 16 June

Gathering on the Margins, 31 March

Weekly gatherings on Zoom at 2 pm every Tuesday

As we do our best to social distance or self-isolate, it is more important than ever that we stay connected with each other. That is why every Tuesday at 2 pm we will be having a digital get-together called Gathering on the Margins.


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.

Around 25 people joined us for our pilot gathering last Tuesday (31 March), and we hope that more will be able to join in as the weeks go on.

In these gatherings we will share videos and interview those on the frontlines of this crisis and working to limit the impact on people in poverty. We will have smaller ‘breakout rooms’ to give you a chance to get to know other people individually and discuss in more detail how the crisis is affecting you and your area.

Last week we heard from people up and down the country about what is going on in their local areas. Penny updated us on the situation in Byker in Newcastle and also shared the recipes for what she had been baking to help provide for her neighbours while in isolation.

We also heard from Sydnie, of the York Food Justice Alliance, about the need to connect different local groups and networks to ensure that everyone in the community is provided for.

As well as hearing about what was happening in local areas, Anna Taylor told us about The Food Foundation’s research into levels of household food insecurity on a national level. You can see the data from that research here. She discussed the way this crisis is affecting at-risk and vulnerable people’s ability to access food, but also the need for the government to go beyond just thinking about those who are medically vulnerable and consider those who are economically vulnerable as well when it comes to emergency food provision.

Tomorrow we will be hearing from Kay Johnson at the Larder Lancashire in Preston about their holiday hunger scheme providing free online cooking lessons and ingredient packs for families.

Our Digital Poet in Residence, Matt Sowerby, will also be joining us. His poetry is really amazing and well worth listening to. You can hear his poem Breadlines here:

To join the Gathering just click the link below at 2 pm on Tuesday. I look forward to seeing lots of you then.

You Can’t Eat the View

How a few photos from 2008 still undermine attempts to tackle UK poverty

New wine, new wineskins part 3: What needs to change?

Gathering on the Margins, 19 May: Building back better?

New wine, new wineskins part 2: What does our faith tell us?

Reflecting together, 14 May: Power and powerlessness

New wine, new wineskins part 1: Journeying into a new world

New wine, new wineskins: introduction

Gathering on the Margins – 12 May

Church on the Margins: resilience

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How people are responding to the Coronavirus outbreak

As an attempt to build up a rapid initial picture of the impact of the coronavirus crisis on organisations and individuals, we invited Church Action on Poverty members and supporters to complete an online survey on Friday 27 March. 

By 3 April, we had received…

0
responses from organisations
0
responses from individuals
in relation to the impact on them and their immediate family or household

Impacts on organisations

  • There is significant concern about the impact on the most vulnerable, including amongst people and communities who were already marginalised.  This includes people seeking asylum, refugees, migrants, people with poor access to healthcare, people working cash in hand in the informal economy, etc.
  • Isolated vulnerable older people are facing particular difficulties, including accessing basics – shopping, prescriptions, etc, and struggling to access online delivery slots.
  • A significant number of local churches and organisations have had to stop all existing activities and services, including food banks, community cafes, and night shelters.
  • There have been closures of a wide range of key local services, but other local churches and organisations are finding ways to refocus and continue to serve their local community.
  • Some are seeking to coordinate collaborative responses, whilst ensuring self-care for staff and beneficiaries.
  • There is a desire to try to stay positive, but aware of challenges ahead.

Impacts on individuals and families

  • It is evident from this very initial snapshot that the Coronavirus outbreak is deeply impacting the lives of people, families and wider social networks in many different ways.

  • What is particularly noticeable from the responses are the deep impacts on people who are already vulnerable, including disabled people, people with chronic health conditions older people and carers.

  • Some people are already reporting the impacts of loss of work or income, or of struggling to access or afford the basic essentials, including food and heating.

  • Key workers, clergy and others still working are in many cases under huge pressure, or having to adapt overnight to completely new challenges or working practices.

  • This is on top of wider social and psychological impacts of the loss of ‘ordinary life’ and social connection with friends, family, church and other social networks.

  • For some people, the impacts are particularly difficult or complex, as a result of a combination of caring, family or wider 

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

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

Talking global solidarity in Byker

In February Ben Pearson, our Food Power Empowerment Officer, along with Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite, facilitated a workshop on food justice and food security, exploring the need for global solidarity with a group of individuals with lived experience of food poverty on the Byker estate in Newcastle. Here are Ben's reflections on the process.

The Global Solidarity Alliance for Food Justice and Food Security was formed last September with colleagues from the United States and Canada, when both Ben and Kayleigh, along with Heather and Penny from Byker, attended the Closing the Hunger Gap Conference in North Carolina, USA.

The alliance is working on A Manifesto for Food Justice and Food Security. Key to this is that those experiencing and at risk of food insecurity take a lead in determining and shaping the public policies and strategies used to improve these situations, embracing people with lived experience as core members of campaigns and organisations.

It’s evident, perhaps now more so than ever, that many of the issues those in poverty face are very similar whether in the UK, United States, Canada or beyond. It’s therefore important to ensure the voices of those with lived experience are listened to and heard, and that the manifesto relates and engages those at the grassroots along with academics and those working in the sector.

A lively discussion was had, covering a range of topics from human rights to race, capitalism to climate. One message that was loud and clear from the group was that:

If welfare was paid to an acceptable level for people to live we wouldn’t have food insecurity.

That means:

Enough money so you don’t have to attend handouts for food and clothing, having a choice where to buy food, and an adequate education system to enable people to learn how to cook.

Food charity was seen to be neither dignified nor a long-term solution:

Money needs to be shared more equally.

They talked about “do-gooders” and the need to “feel grateful” often causing feelings of both anger and embarrassment:

They make you feel like you’re worthless.

One participant talked about how “people who have got don’t give a screw”, with persistent inequality lying at the root of persistent food insecurity. As we know in the current crisis, people are uncertain over the future and even more will become food insecure. This is perhaps an opportunity or ‘canny idea’ for many more of us to come together in solidarity, building a movement to tackle the underlying causes of poverty.

Penny Walters, a workshop participant and active campaigner with lived experience of poverty, says:

Bringing people together from different backgrounds to do workshops and have discussions brings a broader view, and could bring about a wider range of solutions.

Ben and Kayleigh hope to continue the conversation with grassroots activists and those with lived experience of poverty over the coming months, and will explore ways in which those with lived experience can get involved online. If you would like any more information regarding the Global Solidarity Alliance for Food Justice & Food Security, please contact Ben. 

Food Power Empowerment Programme Officer

New wine, new wineskins part 2: What does our faith tell us?

Reflecting together, 14 May: Power and powerlessness

New wine, new wineskins part 1: Journeying into a new world

New wine, new wineskins: introduction

Gathering on the Margins – 12 May

Church on the Margins: resilience

Are we in the same boat? Some creative responses

Shopping online? You can raise money to loosen the grip of poverty

Listen up! New podcast to help end poverty

Church on the Margins in the time of coronavirus

Solidarity and sacrifice

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

Reporting poverty well: another step forward

Our media work is driven by the knowledge that people in poverty understand it better than anyone else.

That maxim may sound obvious, but while poverty attracts much attention in the UK media, the coverage is often flimsy and fleeting because people who truly understand it are left out.

We launched our poverty media unit in 2015 because of growing concern about the way the issues were being reported, and the fact that people in poverty were being routinely misrepresented or ignored altogether.

A big part of our work in the past five years has been in partnership with the National Union of Journalists, and that work has taken another promising step forward.

Supporters may recall that in 2016, we worked with the NUJ and people in poverty to produce a reporting guide, and in 2017 we worked with the union and the Reporters’ Academy to produce this short film:

 

2020: Further progress

In March, the NUJ hosted a round-table discussion event at its headquarters in London, for journalists, people in poverty and charities including Church Action on Poverty and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Martin Green, one of our trustees, was among six people with experience of poverty in Halifax, York and London. They were joined by around 15 journalists, consisting of reporters, photographers and members of the union’s ethics committee. Further work will also now follow, and we hope to update the guide. (The event was held in the first few days of March, prior to the advice against group gatherings)

Topics of conversation at the event included the way that over-dramatic stock images skew public perceptions, painting a narrow and extreme understanding of poverty in the public eye.

We talked also about the lack of diversity in newsrooms, with few journalists having grown up in poverty.

Sydnie Corley, from York Food Justice Alliance, challenged media preconceptions about what audiences want. “Journalists say they print what people want to read – but why not challenge them more to read something that challenges what they think?”

Mary Passeri, also from York, recounted her positive and negative experiences with journalists, and said: “You shouldn’t be making people in poverty feel like they’re on trial, to prove what they’re saying. Of course, fact-check things, but interview more sensitively and sincerely than sometimes happens.”

 

From left: Gavin Aitchison, Church Action on Poverty's media unit coordinator; Martin Green, one of our trustees; and Sydnie Corley and Mary Passeri of York Food Justice Alliance at the NUJ event in London.

Fundamentally, the speakers with experience of poverty called for deeper relationships with journalists and a more collaborative approach.

As Diana, from ATD Fourth World, said at the event: “If you are interviewing someone who might never have been asked their opinion before in their life, then it’s really important to ensure they have the opportunity to influence your narrative. We want to be part of designing stories together.”

Too often, journalists seek personal input only when a story is already written or nearing completion. ‘Case studies’ are sought for preconceived narratives, with little regard for the broader insights an interviewee may bring.

We know severe editorial cuts mean deeper coverage is not always easy, but several organisations (including Church Action on Poverty, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and On Road Media) are all now working with journalists and people in poverty on an ongoing basis, to support and enable coverage that is responsible, well-planned, considered and collaborative.  There is great potential for further enlightened and effective work.

A positive example

A few weeks earlier, that very approach showed how complicated issues can be conveyed powerfully and clearly to a large audience. Mary and Sydnie from York both campaign around food poverty but also have personal experience of the complexities and inadequacies of carer support in the UK. We worked with Joseph Rowntree Foundation and BBC News over a series of discussions, and Mary and Sydnie then told their stories on the BBC News at Six, to an audience of millions, showing how the lack of support keeps people trapped in poverty, and outlining what could help to make a difference.

You can read and watch that story here, on the BBC website. 

 

NUJ guide to reporting poverty

The original version of the NUJ guide to reporting poverty was produced in 2016 by Church Action on Poverty and the union’s Manchester and Salford branch. 

It was led by people with personal experience of poverty, sharing their views on what would constitute good journalism that might make a difference to society. It contains contributors’ own ideas and experiences, and also includes useful information that could enhance journalist’ understanding of the underlying causes of UK poverty.

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

Staying connected: 3 stories from Sheffield

Gathering on the Margins – 26 May

You Can’t Eat the View

How a few photos from 2008 still undermine attempts to tackle UK poverty

New wine, new wineskins part 3: What needs to change?

Gathering on the Margins, 19 May: Building back better?

New wine, new wineskins part 2: What does our faith tell us?

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

You can help out today...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea.

Running a Good Society conversation

Gathering on the Margins – 23 June

Gathering on the Margins – 16 June

How 5 of our partners are maintaining community from a distance

How can charities and community projects best ensure we remain closely connected, while keeping our distance?

That has been a crucial question all over the country, during this coronavirus outbreak.

We all must play our part in slowing the spread of the virus, but community can be maintained and even strengthened, by finding new ways to deliver vital services and support.

What has been working well for your project, and what ideas can you share? Many of our partners have been active, and this is a summary of what some of them have been doing in the past fortnight.  

The Cedarwood Trust on the Meadow Well estate in North Shields closed even before it as forced to, conscious of the underlying health concerns of many of the regulars.

Some community work moved online, with the charity hosting conversations, quizzes and audio messages on its facebook page, but much was also done out and about in the community, until the distancing rules changed. By the time the Prime Minister ordered a major lockdown on March 23, the charity had already distributed 2,400 leaflets locally offering support, cooked 181 meals for local families including 55 people in isolation, was working with the food bank to identify and support families in need, and was making more than 20 phone calls a day to local people.

Wayne Dobson, chief executive, says:

“It has been really important still keeping community going, even though the centre is closed.”

Meeting the needs of people who do not have internet access has been a widespread challenge. At Thrive Teesside in Stockton, manger Tracey Herrington says: “Many of our beneficiaries are not connected to the internet, and we have been doing more calls to check on people and to stay connected, and to respond to queries. There are situations where people were maybe not aware of schemes that were available for support. So much that happens in a community is only advertised online and we need to ensure everyone is contacted. There are a lot of people who have only just been keeping afloat. It’s not about what’s right or wrong in what’s happening, but the reality is they will not stay afloat any more. Incomes were already inadequate and contracts did not cover priority bills. The repercussions going down the line will be massive and this highlights that, if you do not have people with experience of an issue, you cannot fully understand the implications when something happens.”

For those who are online, Thrive has been tweeting extracts from the inspiration Thriving Teesside book that community members produced last year. Do take a look.

It’s a similar picture in Sheffield, at Parson Cross Initiative (PXI). Nick Waterfield, from the project, says: “We want people to know we have not disappeared; we are just not there at the moment. We too have a lot of people without internet access, including some of our volunteers, but we have other volunteers ringing round to check on people.”

PXI has long run a range of community projects through the week, and it has tried to stick to the schedule online. It has set up a new facebook page, Keep Close with PXI, and is using it to very consciously hold the community together, such as by posting craft club photos when the club would ordinarily meet, and inviting members to share their own photos online too. In a community where marginalisation and isolation were already big issues, it has been vital not to lose the moments that were, for many, a weekly highlight. “The idea is to keep the rhythm of the community going,” says Nick.

The charity teamed up with other food banks in Sheffield for its food distribution work, but Nick says:

“Among the clamour to keep food banks open, let’s remember they were never the answer to poverty in the first place and they’re not the answer now. They’re prioritising food bank workers as key workers, but that’s insanity and insulting. They’re expecting our volunteers to put themselves on the front line because they’re not putting enough money into people’s pockets.”

All projects that provide food aid faced enormous pressure but have been adapting as much as possible. Food aid. Many were already facing unsustainable levels of need, and knew that society could not allow more people to be swept into debt and destitution. Brighton and Hove Food Partnership drew up plans with all its partners in the city, sourcing and distributing food, checking in by phone with vulnerable and isolated people, and setting up an online fundraising campaign to pay for bulk purchases to meet need.

Most of our Your Local Pantry projects remained open for business, as they are essential sources of food for their communities and members. At St Luke’s in Peckham, the pantry had to move from the usual small room into the main hall, to allow more space between people, and unexpectedly creating a quicker and more effective system in the process.

How has your project changed the way it works, and how is it maintaining community? Take part in our online  survey and let us know!

Our new urgency to be kind can stand us in good stead

SPARK newsletter summer 2020 – online edition

Why we aren’t ‘all in this together’

Reflecting together: Being Church on the Margins in a time of coronavirus

Reflections on living in lockdown: isolation

Gathering on the Margins – 14 April

Reflections on living in lockdown: sustainability

The churches’ role in responding to Coronavirus (part 3)

Reflections on living in lockdown: grief

The churches’ role in responding to Coronavirus (part 2)

Reflections on living in lockdown: money

Gathering on the Margins – 7 April

More ‘bold and courageous’ action needed to protect millions from biggest income shock in living memory

What is the churches’ role in responding to Coronavirus? (part 1)

New pantry friendship scheme to avert food shortages for thousands

Reflections on living in lockdown: shopping

Gathering on the Margins, 31 March

How people are responding to the Coronavirus outbreak

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

How are you and your community responding to Coronavirus? Complete our survey and let us know

Here at Church Action on Poverty, our priority is to help people stay connected during this crisis, and ensure that people on the margins aren't cut off or left behind.

Here at Church Action on Poverty, our priority is to help people stay connected during this crisis, and ensure that people on the margins aren’t cut off or left behind.

We are still working on our response, and we would like to hear your insights into…

  • how the crisis is affecting people locally;
  • how you are responding;
  • how you would like Church Action on Poverty to respond.

If you can share your insights, it will help us keep people connected so we can all support one another. If you have some time, please complete our online survey today.

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

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

Staying connected on the fringes – can you share stories of your experiences?

During the current crisis, Church Action on Poverty's priority is to keep people connected and make sure no one is cut off. We invite creatives and anyone experiencing the crisis to share content through our digital platforms. We want to understand the issues people are facing and spread messages of positivity and resilience, whilst building a movement and ensuring people are socially connected during these challenging times.

You may have been engaged in our projects or campaigns previously. Or you may be experiencing one of the following emerging issues for the first time – or something else entirely:

  • Self-employed and losing work, finding it difficult to navigate Universal Credit and live day to day in the interim
  • Being a zero-hours contract worker and not being let go, but given no shifts
  • A student unable to claim anything, with little loan support and possibly losing part-time employment
  • Being fired by your employer before the government grant has started
  • Cash flow issues in business meaning the grant won’t protect employees unless they can access it now
  • Working for a business that’s staying open but isn’t on the essential list, meaning staff can’t get childcare
  • A young person experiencing home schooling for the first time and not having access to school meal provision

If you have a story to share, you could contribute just once or on a regular basis. You can choose what kind of content you could contribute:

  • Blog posts
  • Film or videos
  • Live streams
  • Spoken word and poetry
  • Music or songs
  • Short stories
  • Art
  • Photography or a photo diary

Equally, if you have an idea for another creative project, or have expertise in one of the above and could deliver a short online workshop to train others, we’d love you to get in touch.

We are keen to hear from and have contributions from as diverse a group of people as possible. Be part of our movement and get in touch – contact Ben or Kathryn:

Ben-Pearson3
Empowerment Programme Officer
Kathryn-Cheetham
Programme Manager

Understandably this is a busy time for us, so we apologise in advance for any delay in responding.

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

Staying connected: 3 stories from Sheffield

Gathering on the Margins – 26 May

You Can’t Eat the View

How a few photos from 2008 still undermine attempts to tackle UK poverty

New wine, new wineskins part 3: What needs to change?

Gathering on the Margins, 19 May: Building back better?

New wine, new wineskins part 2: What does our faith tell us?

Vacancy: Your Local Pantry Scottish Development Worker

Vacancy: Challenge Poverty Week Intern

A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall