A few weeks ago I attended the launch event of the Manchester Poverty Truth Commission, a project that is aiming to answer the question ‘What if people who have directly faced poverty were involved in decisions about poverty?’
The commission is made up of 15 grassroots commissioners, who have lived experience of poverty, and 15 business and civic leaders from around the city of Manchester.The launch event started with many of the grassroots commissioners sharing their stories. They did this through a variety of creative ways, including music, video recordings and written placards. It was humbling and inspiring to hear them talk so bravely and openly about their experiences.
There was also a feeling of anger and frustration in the room at the injustices people had experienced, and I think everyone felt inspired and impassioned to go ahead with the project and try and create change. After lunch we heard from the 15 business and civic leader commissioners. They each made a pledge to work together with the grassroots commissioners for change.
One of our Boaz clients is a commissioner after getting involved through WAST (Women Asylum Seekers Together). She bravely shared some of her story at the event. She told me that being part of the commission is amazing. It makes her happy to go to the meetings as she can share her story so that people can learn about the experiences of asylum seekers and the struggles that they go through.
She is doing such an important job of being a voice for others in her situation and I am excited for the potential for positive change in our city for those living in destitution.