Nothing about us, without us, is for us, is the starting point for Poverty Truth Commissions. It identifies that lasting social change only happens when those who experience the struggle participate in generating that change.

Yet, if we want to go far we have to go together. People experiencing poverty should take this journey with decision-makers and organisational leaders. By listening to each other, sharing wisdom and building empathy, trusting relationships are formed to have difficult conversations and find the way forward.

Watch this video to learn more about a Poverty Truth Commission.

Poverty Truth Commissions are places where those transformational relationships are formed and nurtured. The Poverty Truth Network supports this work.

Source: Poverty Truth Network

The statistics on Poverty are frightening.  The Social Metrics Commission (SMC) recently reported that 4.5 million people are experiencing the deepest levels of poverty in the UK and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The proportion of the UK population in “deep poverty” has risen more than a third from 5% to 7% over the last two decades, while the overall poverty rate has remained largely unchanged.

This means there are 1.7 million more people in deep poverty ( living on less than half of what they need to stay above the poverty line) compared to 20 years ago.

In West Northamptonshire, 78,000 individuals are suffering with income deprivation. Approximately 13,000 households are in fuel poverty and 12,000 children live in poverty.

In North Northamptonshire,  37,400 households are experiencing some form of income deprivation, with 11,530 households in fuel poverty. In 2018/19, 2,600 adults were homeless, with 2,949 living in overcrowded housing conditions.

Poverty has a cumulative negative effect on people’s health throughout their life. During early childhood it influences cognitive and physical development…[and] has long-term implications for children’s ‘life chances’ and health in adulthood. Unemployment, low-paid work, inadequate benefit entitlements, a lack of affordable and poor quality housing and living in deprived neighbourhoods have negative health impacts.”

Michael Marmot (2020), Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years on.

The Poverty Truth Commission for Northampton rests within the West Unitary Authority and is hosted by Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire.

If you wish to get involved with the commission please contact russell.rolph@voluntaryimpact.org.uk.