Several Salford poverty action groups have come together for ‘Challenge Poverty Week’, to discuss issues surrounding poverty in Salford.

Local organisations such as ‘Church Action Poverty’, ‘Community Pride CIC’ and ‘Salford Poverty Truth’ all attended the first event helping to bring the poverty of Salford into the discussion. says: “It’s a chance for voices that are too often ignored to be heard loud and clear. It’s a chance to show that it is possible to build a better, more compassionate society in which everyone can live life to the full. And it’s a chance to start that journey, together, now.”

Challenge Poverty Week is a series of in-person and online events offering an opportunity for people to have their say on what needs to change in order to help tackle the issues of poverty.

The week also aims to show what is currently being done at the community level to challenge poverty, to change the conversation around poverty in an attempt to end the stigma, and to build awareness and support for sustainable responses to the pandemic that focus on enhancing the dignity and agency of people in poverty.

Liam Purcell Communications and Supporter Relations Manager of Church Action Poverty said:
“It’s a chance to show that it is possible to build a better, more compassionate society in which everyone can live life to the full. And it’s a chance to start that journey, together, now.

“The pandemic highlighted many injustices and inequalities in our society. As we discuss ways of building a more just society, it’s vital that we all listen to the voices of people who have too often been marginalised and ignored. That’s why Challenge Poverty Week is so important right now.

“Almost 600 people have written to their MPs and councillors, asking what they are doing to tackle the root causes of poverty, and the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell has supported the week, saying that “the voices of people in poverty need to become more audible and influential in public debate”.

Challenge Poverty Week has been running successfully in Scotland for a number of years, but launched in England and Wales for the first time in 2020.

“Greater Manchester is home to nearly 3 million people. Despite being a diverse and vibrant city region, over 600,000 residents are living in poverty. Greater Manchester is home to some of the UK’s most deprived neighbourhoods. Poverty and economic inequality in Greater Manchester results in widely varying health, education and economic outcomes for the city region’s residents.

“Poverty damages the lives of the people it affects, both in the here and now and in the long term. High levels of poverty act as a drag on Greater Manchester, hindering the potential of the area and putting pressure on public services. Poverty, therefore, is everybody’s business.

“Around 100 people including many with first-hand experience of poverty gathered in Manchester on Monday to discuss solutions, as part of the Greater Manchester Big Poverty, organised by Greater Manchester Combined Authorities in partnership with Church Action on Poverty.”

Niall Cooper, the charity’s director, said: “It is great to see so many people and groups taking part in Challenge Poverty Week. We know a more just and compassionate society is possible, if we tackle the big underlying injustices that hold so many people back.”

Speakers at the event included Nadine Travers, a member of Manchester Poverty Truth Commission. She said: “I think it’s vital that we challenge poverty, because people living in it are often unaware they are living in poverty, or shame and stigma mean individuals are blamed for poverty, rather than policies that are quite oppressive often.”

Other events this week include a regional discussion in the North East about how a rights-based approach could reduce poverty; the launch of Navigating Storms, a report exploring people’s food experiences during the pandemic; and a day of campaign letter-writing in Sutton Hill in the Midlands.

More information and video interviews can be found on the Challenge Poverty Twitter: @CPW_E_W

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