Photos & quotes: the energy, hope & resolve of Dignity For All 2023

100 people from across the UK gathered in Leeds for the 2023 Dignity For All event.

It was a unique new gathering, bringing together a vast range of people, groups and organisations who want to see an end to poverty in the UK, and who want to find ways to rebuild the dignity of people and communities.

Dignity For All: what took place

The event included workshops, presentations, stalls, discussion groups, panels and lots of new introductions and conversations.

It’s impossible to capture everything, but these photos will give you an idea of what happened, and this blog aims also to give you a flavour of what was said – and some ideas for what to do next.

Dignity For All: in pictures

A church building full of people sitting round tables, at the Dignity For All conference in Leeds in June 2023
Rahela Khan and Jayne Gosnall hold a board with "Dignity means...." on it.
Lynn from All The Small Things CIC speaks at the Dignity For All conference in Leeds in June 2023
Rahela Khan (left) and Mary Passeri speak about dignity and food, at the Lynn from All The Small Things CIC speaks at the Dignity For All conference in Leeds in June 2023
Dylan Eastwood and Tracey Herrington on stage at the Dignity For All conference in Leeds in June 2023
Joanne Roy from Heaton Moor United Church, speaking at the Dignity For All conference in Leeds in June 2023

During the day, people were asked to write what dignity means to them. Some answers are shown below:

A collage of pictures of people holding A3 sheets of paper, saying what dignity means to them. Answers include respect, being listened to, having my voice heard and my opinions respected, choice and feeling valued for being yourself

Dignity For All: what people said

“Power isn’t just a noun. It’s something we can generate… and not in ways that are overtly angry, but in ways that seek to build a community, in ways that are less ‘them and us’, and more ‘us collectively’.”
Andrew Grinnell
Poverty Truth Network
“Poverty is not inevitable. It is man-made. We have the wealth to end it, we have the expertise – it’s a matter of political will.”
Wayne Green
Speaking Truth To Power panel
“We recognise that it’s our own experience and expertise that can influence change. We’ve got self-belief, but we need to ensure that self-belief stays, despite the difficulties we face on a daily basis. We know that things can change. We know that people will stay committed."
Tracey Herrington
Thrive Teesside
“Do not come into communities because you have money to spend and intend to ‘do this’. Instead, come and listen.”
Mary Brennan
Leeds Poverty Truth Commission
"Do not assume, because I am ‘the voice of lived experience’ that I do not also have a whole multitude of experiences.”
Brian Scott
Poverty Truth Scotland
“I think that services and systems need to be informed by lived experience of those of us who are on the receiving end of those, because the people developing them now have no clue – they’ve never had to receive a benefit, never had to use any of the services, and they’ve just shaped them as they think will work, without the thought to those people who are actually going to be using them.”
Tracy Knight
Speaking Truth To Power, and Expert Citizens

Dignity For All: who was there?

The conference was organised jointly by the APLE Collective, Church Action on Poverty, and the Joint Public Issues Team. 

People from a wide range of groups, churches and organisations, including Christians Against Poverty, the Poverty Truth NetworkSelf-Reliant Groups, the Trussell Trust and many more.

Dignity For All: what next?

One of the most pleasing outcomes on the day was the overwhelming consensus that this should not be a one-off event. 

Speaker after speaker spoke of the need to build on this moment, to harness our collective expertise, insight and desire, to press for a faster end to poverty in the UK.

Various ideas are being discussed already, and attention is already turning to Challenge Poverty Week in October, another great chance to raise our voices together.

You can find out more about how to get involved at the links below. 

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