From UK poverty to social security: solutions grounded in experience

From UK poverty to social security: solutions grounded in experience
6th July 2017 House of Commons
Presenting our anti-poverty poster
ATD Fourth World UK

This poster was made by 10 people with an experience of poverty, we (3-4) represent this group, many can’t be here today due to benefit and job centre restrictions.

This project brought us together as a group and gave us chance to share our ideas through art and design.

Our poster speaks clearly about how people in poverty don’t feel listened to, and don’t feel part of the democratic system. One of our group said “Let the hole in democracy be filled with our voices” we feel that people in poverty have a lot to bring to the table… and events like this should be common practice …
We can only build a more fair society when we all work together.

I think I speak on behalf of the other groups here when I say … we reach out an open hand and are willing start important conversations with you and others in power.
Just ask us and we will be here in a flash..

When one is on their own they feel weak, but when you bring a thousand voices together we feel strong.
This whole project in bringing many different people together from across the country …which is very important, we are hearing the same things from the different places. We hope to be heard !! We need to be united!!
Working together with other groups like Thrive Teeside and The Doleanimators is so important.
I drew a bridge on the poster,, the bridge represents the importance of coming together… MPs, people in power ,, and the powerless.
We can work together and make things better for all.
It’s time to listen to people in poverty; we are experts on poverty and have a lot to contribute.

Our poster represents the need to listen and work together
People in poverty go through a lot of challenges and feel rejected by society because they feel nobody listens to them which causes anger, frustration, set back even depression. Why are we excluded from the debate?

For example, as a mother with a special need child, I find it sometimes hard to cope alone with the challenges that are attached to dealing with a child with complex needs.
Social workers are often in people’s life’s and in many ways represent the government, in my case they provide little help and complain that their hands are tied, I feel the cuts to this very important service
Everything is cut.
Because of lack of help, at the beginning some parents struggle to the point of breakdown and as a result their children are taken away from them.
Families need support and I feel we are not listened to in the times we need to be listened to the most.
I was lucky and found ATD Fourth World in my days of real need, ATD helped my family stay together by supporting us and listening. I fear other families might not have the same opportunity.
We should not feel ashamed every time with words such as scroungers, lazy, just because we need support.
I think the government should listen to more poor people and understand better what we are going through.

The reason I drew the megaphone is to try and give an understanding that poverty must end and be eradicated. Our voices need to be heard. People living in poverty feel they are not listened to. The Government needs to listen to us. We know a lot about poverty and have ideas and answers how to work together to over poverty.
We offer our help and are very willing to work with government on solutions to poverty.
The bridge in our poster is saying everyone needs to come together and build bridges not walls.

Thank you for listening