New ‘Tackling Poverty Fortnight’ campaign starts here – #povertyinwales
Over the next fourteen days, the Wales Co-operative Centre is inviting you to join a conversation about poverty in Wales, and what works to overcome it, or at least reduce its impact.
The headlines aren’t good. The economy is flat-lining. We have the biggest shake-up to the benefits system in 60 years. Public spending is being cut whilst the need for public services is rising. Some people are losing their jobs whilst others are facing pay freezes or reductions to their hours. Prices, especially energy prices, continue to rise. These events have a cumulative impact on families and communities in Wales, and poverty is often the consequence.
Yet amongst all of this there are real successes: stories of enterprises supported to create jobs in our most deprived communities, stories of people helped into work against the odds. Stories of people empowered to save money and avoid debt. We will be telling some of thesestories over the next couple of weeks.
For example, the Wales Co-operative Centre provides support to people who are digitally excluded, through leading the Welsh Government’s Communities 2.0 programme. Getting online and developing digital skills can open doors to unimagined worlds. Amongst other things, we have helped hundreds of people progress in the jobs market, and we will hear from some of them this fortnight. The Centre also works to promote Financial Inclusion, for example by supporting people at risk of homelessness. We help them manage their money more effectively and avoid debt.
Our work with social enterprises specifically targets those with the potential to grow and create more jobs. We have worked with clients across Wales, getting national recognition for our recent work with AFS in Swansea, which provided sustainable employment for former Remploy workers. The jobs created as a result of our work are quality employment opportunities, and the money made by the employing enterprises stays in the local community.
The impact of poverty on people in Wales makes it inappropriate to call this series of success stories a celebration. It is, however, an acknowledgement that some things are working and that people are benefiting as a result.
We look forward to your response, to hearing your stories. You can comment on the blog posts, or use #povertyinwales on Twitter.
Written by Mark Smith
October 28, 2013 at 8:17 am
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