In an effort to promote the co-operative difference in combating poverty, a two-week campaign has been launched.
Tackling Poverty Fortnight, launched today (13 January) by the Wales Co-operative Centre, will highlight how co-operatives and social enterprises can help those in need.
The campaign aims to unearth new approaches to tackling poverty and to stimulate discussion on innovative approaches that could be implemented in Wales.
“The global economic crisis that started in 2008 has left a long and deep scar, and it’s only now showing signs of healing,” said Derek Walker, chief executive of the centre. “There is still a stream of stories in the news about poverty levels, homelessness, food banks and businesses going to the wall.
“Tackling Poverty Fortnight allows us to look at some of the options available and approaches that have been tried in the rest of the UK and elsewhere to combat poverty and its causes.
“We have launched this campaign to try to engage organisations working in the field and find ways of working together, to find effective solutions that are suitable for delivery in Wales.”
A series of blog posts will be published on a new website (www.everyonesbusiness.coop) from experts in poverty, older people, children, financial and digital inclusion, which will discuss specific ideas and methods to help alleviate the problems of poverty.
This will include a unique insight into the way access to poverty support affects older people in Wales from Age Cymru and creative ways of using surplus supermarket produce from Foodcycle and FareShare Cymru, as well as an innovative approach to tackling poverty through employability from the Carnegie UK Trust.
The campaign will last until 26 January, known as Blue Monday – nominally the most depressing day of the year, as people review their debt levels after the Christmas break.
Lesley Griffiths, minister for communities and tackling poverty, commented: “I welcome the Tackling Poverty Fortnight campaign. Action to tackle poverty is a key priority for the Welsh government, but we cannot deliver this agenda on our own. It is critical we work with all stakeholders and partners.
“Tackling Poverty Fortnight will raise awareness of the issues in Wales and the work we need to take forward to improve the outcomes for low income households.”