What is the Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty?

The Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty has become one of the key events for the Poverty Alliance. Now in its third year, the Assembly has become one of the key events in the anti-poverty 'calender' in Scotland. It is now a two day event, bringing together around 250 community activists, voluntary organisations, faith groups, trade unions, policy makers and politicians to debate how we best tackle poverty. 

But the Assembly is more than just another poverty conference. It aims to establish dialogue at the heart of policy making on issues of poverty. It is not an opportunity for lectures (by anyone!), but a chance for real exchange and understanding. And at the same time, an opportunity for those whose voices are rarely heard to hold those in power to account. 

Each year a wide range of community organisations have put a great deal of work into preparing evidence for the Assembly. Again, this is part of the process. The Poverty Alliance provides support to community groups to make their voices heard. We also then follow up the recommendations that emerge form the Assembly, and seek to have politicians and policy makers put them into practice. 

It's an ambitious part of the EPIC project, but the scale of the problem of poverty in Scotland requires us to be ambitious. 

4th Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty: Achieving Social Justice in Scotland, 25 & 26 March 2013

The latest Scottish Assembly was attended by around 300 people over two day in March 2013. A wide range of issues were discussed from the 'bedroom tax', to attitudes to poverty, and from getting better jobs to fuel poverty. As always the Assembly has produced a great deal of insights, shared important stories about stuggles against poverty, and highlighted various areas where change is urgently needed.

Over the next few weeks we will be compiling a report from the Assembly that will highlight key parts of the discussion and the main recommendations that have emerged. We will also be loading more videos of interviews with participants and plenary discussions onto our You Tube channel

Below are some of the presentations made at the Assembly. More will be added soon. Please check back over the next week weeks for new updates. (12.04.13)

Day 1 Presentations:

What is wrong with the Bedroom Tax? - Scottish Government

What is wrong with the Bedroom Tax?- Shelter Scotland

Changing Public Attitudes to Poverty - Poverty Alliance

Tackling Financial Exclusion - Scottish Government

Poverty and Education - Children in Scotland

Why are so Many Workers in Poverty? - Jeanette Findlay, University of Glasgow

In-work Poverty in Scotland - Poverty Alliance

Mental Health and Poverty - Scottish Assocaition for Mental Health

A More Equal Scotland - Inclusion Scotland

Day 2 Presentations:

Engaging with Local Services - Dundee Poverty Alliance Group

Engaging with Local Services - Fife Council

A Fairer Welfare System - Citizens Advice Scotland

Providing Food Banks - Start Up Stirling

Fuel Poverty in Scotland - Energy Action Scotland

Getting Active in Your Community - Poverty Alliance

The Poverty Myths - Church of Scotland

Working with Policy Makers - CPAG Scotland


3rd Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty - 15 & 16 March 2012, Glasgow


The 3rd Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty took place on 15 and 16 March 2012, at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Over the two days hundreds of people gathered to discuss how we address poverty and inequality in Scotland and how we develop alternative ways of working during a time of economic austerity.

This year's Assembly has gathered a great deal of evidence from participants. We are putting as many of the debates that took place at the Assembly, and the views of participants online as possible. We can see the highlights from the Assembly at our storify page Alternatively, have a look at all the videos that have been uploaded so far at our youtube channel. Will be adding more content in the days and weeks ahead so please check back regularly. 

Second Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty 

The second Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty took place on the 17th and 18th February 2011 and brought together over 400 people over the two days. The Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty takes place every year and aims to create a space for a large number of people to come together to take stock of where we are in the fight against poverty and to discuss solutions on an ongoing basis. This year’s event brought together a broad section of groups, organizations and individuals including those with experience of poverty, community based organizations, voluntary organizations, members of Scottish and UK Parliament and civil servants from Scottish and UK Government.  The report captures the detail of the day and sets out the key messages and actions that participants at the Assembly prioritized. To download a copy of the report click here.

First Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty

The EPIC project took a significant step forward in February when the first Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty took place in Glasgow, on 5 February 2010. More than 200 people gathered to discuss how to create a more sustainable and socially just Scotland. People with experience of poverty came together with representatives from community and voluntary groups, MSPs, local councillors and policy makers from local and national Government, to discuss with experts on some of the challenges we face addressing poverty. Keynote speakers included Ann McKechin MP, under Secretary of State for Scotland, and Alex McNeil MSP, Minister for Communities and Housing. The afternoon session focused on the key demands that emerged from the discussions. These will be followed up over the coming year.  To download the report of the first Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty click here.


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