The Poverty Alliance have today launched Weathering the Storm, a summary report from the Get Heard Scotland (GHS) programme in 2020/21.
GHS is a programme coordinated by the Poverty Alliance and funded by the Scottish Government as part of Every Child Every Chance, the Scottish Government’s Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan. GHS is designed to help people on low incomes get their voices heard on the policies and decisions that most impact their lives and their communities. Get Heard Scotland gathers evidence on the experience of poverty, from people who are living on low incomes, as well as from organisations and groups working on the ground to help address poverty. Crucially, it focuses on the solutions needed to loosen the grip of poverty on people’s lives.
The report that has been published today covers GHS engagement in 2020/21, which focused primarily on the local authority areas of Inverclyde and Renfrewshire. Covering issues like mental health, employment, food insecurity, digital access, debt, and social security, it provides an overview of the experiences of people living on low incomes – as well as of organisations working with people on low incomes – during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Peter Kelly, Director, Poverty Alliance, said:
“Over the last 18 months, the grip of poverty has tightened on the lives of people across Scotland. But it is important to remember that, even before the pandemic, over one million people in Scotland were living in that grip. We know that not just listening to – but acting on – the voices and experiences of people living in poverty is key to ending poverty in Scotland. So we are pleased to publish this report today, that focuses primarily on Inverclyde and Renfrewshire but which has relevance for every part of the country.
In both local authorities, there has been a genuine desire to find more effective ways of meaningfully involving people with experience of poverty in shaping local anti-poverty policy. We hope that the work as part of Get Heard Scotland will have contributed towards making participatory policy making the norm in the future.”
The full report can be read here.