Hiding in Plain View: New Year Message 2017

Poverty is many things. Poverty is hiding in plain view. Poverty is people. Not.. ‘them’. Us. Just a few lines from one of the poems written by a group of people with direct experience of poverty and professional writers as part of our Powerlines project.


The Salford NICE group, formed to challenge the stigma of poverty in 2014

Continue reading

Nothing about us without us is for us

POVERTY-TRUTH-69Church Action on Poverty is involved in setting up a Poverty Truth Commission in Salford – inspired by successful Commissions already running in Glasgow and Leeds. In this guest post, Andrew Grinnell, one of the facilitators of the Leeds Poverty Truth Commission, explains what a difference the approach has made there.

Continue reading

Helping journalists challenge stigma

reportingpoverty“Obese sponger.” “Jobless mother.” “Benefits scroungers.” Just a few phrases found in national tabloids in the UK since March. The language is casual, repetitive – and harmful.

Rachel Broady, Equality Officer for the National Union of Journalists’ Manchester and Salford branch, explains how we have been working together to tackle the problem.

Continue reading

Who should bear the burden of austerity?

What does it mean to be One Nation? In an age of austerity, what does it mean to say “We are all in this together?” To what extent should Government protect the poorest and weakest from further cuts to benefits? Iain Duncan Smith’s shock resignation from the Government last week has put these questions into sharp relief.

Call on the Chancellor to rethink tax cuts for the wealthy!

This week, MPs are debating the budget and considering a serious rethink. If we act fast, we can get them to drop unfair tax cuts for the wealthy, rather than finding new ways to cut benefits for the poorest. Please use our simple e-action to contact your MP here


Continue reading

Names not numbers

What is it like to live in poverty? No, what is it really like to live in poverty? How does it feel? What does it do to your sense of dignity and self-worth? How does it feel when you can’t afford the school uniform? What does it do to you to be treated as a number not a person?


These are some of the questions explored by the Scottish Poverty Truth Commission, whose latest report, ‘Names not numbers’ was published last month. A Poverty Truth Commission is radical in its simplicity, and simple in its message:’Nothing about us without us is for us.’

A group of people – some with firsthand experience of living with poverty and others with positions of power and influence in politics, public service and the arts, who met together regularly and on an equal basis over 18 months. The process involved learning what it means to listen deeply and having the courage to speak out. The stories heard and shared are powerful in the way they change those involved.

Continue reading

Listening to ‘these people’

Jackie CoxOur Poverty Media Coordinator Jackie Cox works alongside people in poverty to ensure they are more fairly presented in the media. So she was excited to be invited to a conference in November on ‘poverty and TV’. Unfortunately, the event illustrated some of the very problems we are trying to tackle… 

Continue reading

The reality of life on benefits

Real Benefits Street Channel 4 and Love Productions, the makers of the controversial TV series Benefits Street, regularly claim that their programme “reveals the reality of life on benefits”. But we work alongside people on benefits every day, and they don’t recognise their lives in the stories that are shown on screen. So we’ve set out to share the reality that doesn’t make it onto TV.

Continue reading