Challenge Poverty Week (2nd – 8th October 2023) is an annual campaign where Scotland comes together to express our ambition to end poverty and raise our voices for a more equal and just nation.
With 1 in 5 Scots locked in poverty, compounded by the cost of living crisis, tackling poverty becomes more important every year.
Third sector organisations are at the heart of our communities and have a crucial role to play in ending poverty and supporting people experiencing poverty.
We have spoken two a few of Inverclyde’s charity and voluntary groups to get a sense of what the local third sector is doing to challenge poverty.
Inverclyde Faith in Throughcare (IFiT)
Robbie Miller, IFiT told us about their vital work.
“Inverclyde Faith in Throughcare support some of our community’s most marginalised individuals start to make positive changes in their lives.
“We support participants to tackle the significant sense of loss, isolation and loneliness experienced when caught up in the revolving door of re-imprisonment or re-criminalisation, usually because they come from the most disadvantaged communities where levels of poverty have increased the likelihood of imprisonment.
“Participants are impacted through combined factors of poverty and criminal activity, leading to a compounded sense of isolation and profound loneliness not only in prison, but particularly in the weeks, months and years following release.
“We actively support to identify and shape opportunities and activities which will gradually build resilience and help individuals to connect with the people and our communities in which they are returning, to live in Inverclyde.
“We work to reduce stigma, increase people's sense of self-esteem, support better mental health; keep people out of prison, promote confidence and self-worth, reduce isolation, hope and aspirations for the future, supporting to take small steps to reach their potential and offer a range of diversionary alternatives. It is vital to recovery that we continue to tackle poverty and be proactive in creating solutions for the people in our care.”
Inverclyde’s Community Link Workers
“Inverclyde is one of the most deprived areas in Scotland. The Community Link Worker service plays a crucial role in supporting people experiencing poverty. By linking in with various social, community, and non-medical supports, we work alongside people to identify ways to improve their financial circumstances and overall health and wellbeing.
“Link Workers assess an individual’s needs and connect them to resources such as employability services, financial advice, addiction support, housing assistance, local food initiatives and other third sector organisations.
“The holistic approach adopted by the Community Link Workers is beneficial to individuals, families, and the wider community. The knock-on effect of poverty into many areas of life is far-reaching as is the stress and anxiety this can cause. The Community Link Worker team are available to help reduce the impact of poverty in Inverclyde.”
Read more about Inverclyde’s Community Link Workers on Inverclyde Life.
Starter Packs Inverclyde
“We help the community by provided Starter Packs to Homeless people moving into a tenancy who have no money to buy even the basic of household items. We also work closely with Housing Associations and Social Work Services to provide Starter Packs to people living in poor circumstances in their tenancy.
“With the increase costs of heating a home, putting food on the table people are struggling day to day, this has meant we have seen an increase in requests for help. This year to date we have provided Starter Packs to 364 homes, 196 single people, 168 families including 304 children.
“It is important that we helped some of the most vulnerable people, the consequences of failing to tackle poverty in particular children results in poor outcomes for them. Children will have been unsettled living in temporary accommodation, everyone deserves a decent home.”
You can help Starter Packs by donating household items and help give vulnerable people a boost in their new home, follow them on Facebook to find out more.
It is Up to You
Each of us can do simple things to challenge poverty. Donating money to a charity is amazing although not everyone is able. Why not donate something equally as precious: your time.
There are so many small-scale charities and community groups, providing invaluable support to vulnerable people, that depend on volunteers to operate - gifting them a few hours a week of your time makes a massive impact.
The Volunteer Inverclyde website is your starting point!
Oct 6, 2023