Living in poverty has never been a life choice. The harsh realities faced by people living in poverty are indefensible and with this in mind, the APLE Collective’s mission statement clearly articulates the need and value of creating a lived experience of poverty network across the UK to raise awareness of poverty, reduce stigma and work with others to affect positive change.

The APLE Collective are visionary and forthright in the actions they take and fully appreciate the need to merge areas of expertise, develop external relationships, collaborating with others to ensure the voice of lived experiences of poverty are heard, represented and acted upon.

The Collective are pleased to see their relationship with the Trussell Trust developing. APLE welcome the Trussell Trusts strategic vision for the UK to not need foodbanks

“We say this because it’s not right that anyone cannot afford their own food. That’s why we are working towards a just, compassionate future, where no one should have to use a food bank to get by”

-Trussell Trust, Together for Change, 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

The Collective’s relationship with Trussell Trust was based on mutual respect allowing the Collective to convey knowledge and expertise with the view to inform the Trust’s development of their participatory approaches, further embedding theircommitment to working with people who have experience of living in difficult financial situations. 

The specific piece of work developed with Trussell Trust was in relation to developing their staff buddies initiative as part of the Together for Change panel. The assembled lived experience Together for Change panel’s intention will help shape the work of the Trussell Trust, creating lasting change and working towards a future where everyone has enough money for essentials.

APLE’s involvement helped co-develop and co-deliver training for the Trussell team members who are now working closely with the Together for Change panel. Consideration was given to good practice in terms of developing and ensuring staff buddy and panel buddy relationships were founded on equity and mutual trust and ensuring that distinct areas of knowledge were equally valued.

The first Together for Change panel meeting has since taken place and feedback from the Trussell Trust reports:

“it went extremely well! The group already feel really well connected to each other, and the buddy conversations were great. On behalf of the team here, we’d like to say a huge thank you both for all that went into planning how those relationships would build – the feeling in the group is already a really positive one, and your contributions are a significant part of that changed the shape of what we have done” 

-Jeanette Bain-Burnett, Director of Participation. The Trussell Trust 

APLE hope that their partnership working with the Trussell Trust continues to grow and flourish.