Poverty campaign to inspire transformative change


Inspired Youth has produced a new campaign film in coproduction with Poverty2Solutions, a group of activists from across the UK who have direct experience of living in poverty.

The film is written by people who have experienced poverty first-hand and who are passionate about changing the system they believe is leaving people behind. Using their own voices members of Poverty2Solutions highlight their dedication to end the issues that keep people trapped in poverty. Their campaign is funded by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation which is an independent social change organisation working to solve UK poverty.

“We hope the film will expose the real truth behind living in poverty to decision-makers and the importance of them listening to lived experience in order to make better decisions. It would make such a difference if we could get the government to listen to our voices.”
Lareine, ATD Fourth World

The film, which was developed through creative workshops, aims to turn their passion for building an equal society into action by creating a film that challenges stereotypes about modern-day poverty in the UK. The film also highlights the importance and value of involving lived experiences in the conversations around shaping affective policy, creating systemic change that can help build a fairer society.

Poverty2Solutions take their message to Westminster

“We’ve had an amazing journey and we wanted to showcase what can be achieved when working in a collaborative way”

-Corrina, Thrive

Almost 14 million people were locked in poverty in the UK pre-pandemic and the group firmly believe that urgent systemic change is needed to address the continuing factors that create and perpetuate hardship and destitution.

Poverty2Solutions have been using their insight and expertise to propose solutions to the issues faced and recognise that it is only by meaningfully involving this lived experience area of expertise that solutions can be found. They are taking their ideas to politicians, policymakers and the media and hope the film will help to raise awareness of the work they are doing to inspire change.

“We are all equal and all have a part to play in affecting change. We have a duty to put the voice of lived experience at the heart of policy making”

-Dylan, Thrive

The film is just one of a number of projects the group are involved in, which also includes championing their ‘Do Your Duty for Equality’ campaign and ‘calling upon the government to put the voice of lived experience at the heart of policy making’. The value of a participatory approach to policy making will be evidenced through a bespoke piece of work around debt deductions from social security benefits.

“We want to show decision makers that we want to be around the table when they are making decisions and policies that affect the poor and disadvantaged, people with lived experience know best how the policies affect them.”

-Amanda, ATD Fourth World
“Making the film can give us a united front and bring our voices together. Poverty can affect anyone. We appreciate what the government is doing but it doesn’t go far enough, they need to do more, they need to work with us.”
Seamus, ATD Fourth World

The film is set to be premiered at an event on April 6th in Westminster, hosted by Poverty2Solutions and The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and has invited key stakeholders, Policy-makers, Politicians, MP’s and Ministers to engage in debate around poverty with a focus on the importance of listening to lived experiences when reforming, shaping and improving policy.

Poverty2Solutions hope their film will draw attention to their innovative way of collaborative working and hope it inspires politicians to work with them and utilise the often neglected insight of lived experience to create better policies.

Across the UK, 4.3 million children live in families with below 60% median income after housing costs in 2019/20. This is an increase of 200,000 children from the previous year and 500,000 over 5 years ago (Local Indicators of Child Poverty after Housing Costs 2019/2020. Donald Hirsh and Juliet Stone, Loughborough University, Centre for Research in Social Policy May 2021)

An estimated 14.5 million people in the U.K are living in poverty

Around one in five children (17%) did not have consistent access to a suitable device for their online home-learning. This increased to 27% of children from households classed as most financially vulnerable. The findings are among those reported in Ofcom’s annual studies into the media use and attitudes of adults in the UK, and of children and their parents. A news release is available.

“What I want people to get from watching this film is inspiration”
 Dylan, Thrive.

Poverty2Solutions wants to show that people from all walks of life can be impacted by poverty whilst demonstrating that there is power and value in the voices of those who have this lived experience. They hope that the government takes time to listen to their voice and that the Poverty2Solutions campaign can be a catalyst for policy reform. They are passionate about their cause and want to be part of creating the change.

Around 56% of people in poverty are in a working family. In-work poverty has risen from 10% of workers 20 years ago to 13%. (JRF Ul Poverty 2019/2020: Work)

People who have experience of the issues that continue to prevent people from realising their potential and locked in poverty are well placed to speak out about such issues. For example, as direct recipients of social security benefits, low paid work and services which may be designed to support transitions into work, they fully understand the impact of the policies intended to create positive change and therefore should be part of the efforts in order to design fairer policies that will ensure the desired outcomes are achieved – this will help build a great society that works for us all.

For Poverty2Solutions it is vital that they share their experiences in order to create a better world for everyone and the film production is just one way they are doing that. In a world of such rampant inequality and rising levels of poverty in the UK and around the world, it is amazing to see people affected by poverty raising their voices and taking action to inspire change.

To find out more about Poverty2Solutions or the Premiere of the campaign film please contact traceyherrington@thrive-teesside.org.uk

Poverty2Solutions are a coalition of three groups (ATD Fourth World, Dole Animators and Thrive Teesside) rooted in their community and led by lived experiences of poverty. This coalition works tirelessly to campaign for the inclusion of people with lived experiences of poverty in policy making and supports the process of transformative change that this would represent. Poverty2Solutions were named as on of the top 100 Change makers of 2020 in theBig Issue and were described as ‘a righteous torchbearer, lighting the world, leading the way and changing the world for the better In 2020’