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Commission Gives a Face to the Facts of Poverty

This week is Challenge Poverty week, and North Ayrshire’s Fair for All Commission are inviting you to join them at Fullarton Connexions in Irvine on Thursday, October 10, to learn more about the work being done to address the causes and symptoms of poverty.

There are many untruths about poverty - it isn’t about laziness or bad decisions, and it’s not just about money - and while there are many discussions about poverty and inequality taking place across Scotland right now, unless they involve people with lived experience of poverty then these important truths will not be told.

North Ayrshire’s Fair for All Commission first met in June 2019, with the aim of ‘giving a face to the facts’ - ensuring that the movement to tackle poverty has those who experience it at its heart - as well as challenging stereotypes and helping to reduce stigma.

The group, which meets monthly, is made up of ten Community Commissioners – residents with genuine experience of poverty – and ten Civic Commissioners, including business leaders, policy developers and third-sector leaders.

The role of the Civic Commissioners is to listen to the shared stories of the community members and develop a deeper understanding of the real problems faced by our residents, which in turn will lead to more informed decision-making from those leaders who hold the power to drive change.

North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane, one of the Civic Commissioners involved in the project, said: “It has been a real privilege to be part of the Fair for All Commission. Listening to the real-life experiences of people in our area is a harrowing experience, but what an inspiring group of Community Commissioner colleagues we have on the Commission.

“Poverty has plagued North Ayrshire for too long. In 2019 it is unacceptable that so many of our residents are struggling with life’s most basic needs. It is clear our prevailing economic and political system has let too many people down.

“I am proud to lead a Council that is committed to challenging the causes and symptoms of poverty. By learning from and working together with our Community Commissioner colleagues, we can gain a greater appreciation of how decisions taken locally and nationally impact lives and try to find the solutions to these problems through more informed decision-making.”

Fiona Pow, North Ayrshire Fair For All Commission Officer, said: “Very simply, we want to find out what is working, what is not, and what people would like to see changed in order to solve poverty.

“Most importantly, the information we hear from real people will help to have an actual impact on shaping the Fair For All’s Commission’s findings, local and national policy, and on the lives of people living in North Ayrshire affected by poverty. Please join us at Fullarton Connexions on Thursday and get involved in the conversation.”

The event at Fullarton Connexions will run from 11am to 1pm on Thursday and all are welcome to come along and join in the discussions or share their experiences. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please register your interest by emailing or calling 01294 324894.


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