Since 2016, Poverty2Solutions (ATD Fourth World, Dole Animators and Thrive Teesside) have been working alongside a graphic designer, an academic and a policy working to ensure the voice of lived experience of poverty and socio-economic disadvantage informs the debates that will have the power to create fairer policies. Poverty2Solutions value the untapped expertise in our communities and believe that:

It is important that people with lived experience are around the table when policies are made. They are the ones who know what impact policies have on them, as they are the ones bearing the brunt of it. If policy makers don’t listen to people with lived experience of poverty, the policies that they bring out won’t change anything, people in poverty will suffer and be worse off. Making a space at the table for people with lived experiences of poverty means that they can have a dialogue with policy makers and politicians to get their voices heard.

(Amanda, ATD Fourth World)

Our journey has had its challenges, but we have remained steadfast and true to our values. Our transformative approach, led to the Big Issue naming Poverty2Solutions as one of the 100 Changemakers in 2020 and commented that they ‘salute the brave and righteous torch bearers lighting the world and changing the world for the better in 2020. In order to ensure meaningful change, a collaborative approach to local decision making or national policy making is essential. People with direct experiences of the issues at hand have skills, expertise and insight that can be harnessed to develop more effective solutions for change.

Poverty2Solutions are inspirational and will endeavour to advocate and champion the value of participatory policy making. The group aims to showcase the value of this approach through hosting a fringe event at this year’s Conservative Party conference. We are proud of our achievements to date and thank all who have supported and contributed over the past few years. Check out our Do Your Duty for Equality briefing papers and our website to find out more about our work.