Poverty can feel like an overwhelming force, but when we join together to raise our voices, we can fight back. This Challenge Poverty Week, we’re aiming to do just that, alongside more than 400 organisations with a shared goal to see an end to poverty.
What is Challenge Poverty Week?
Challenge Poverty Week first began in Scotland, organised by the Poverty Alliance to shine a light on the issue across the country, and has since spread to England and Wales. The initiative exists to bring individuals, faith leaders and politicians together to raise awareness and set a course for change.
What happens during Challenge Poverty Week?
CAP first got involved in the initiative in Scotland four years ago. As well as press and social media coverage that reached more than seven million people in total, last year’s Challenge Poverty Week saw CAP establish important relationships with local politicians and create opportunities for future collaboration. We invited a number of Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) to visit their local CAP Debt Centre, and lots of them highlighted our work through social media, raising vital awareness.
Having visited a centre himself, MSP Jeremy Balfour also spoke about CAP during a debate in Scottish Parliament, bringing the topic of poverty to the forefront.
Possibly the greatest success story from last year’s initiative was the subsequent changes to the Scottish Child Bridging Payment, which provides financial support for families of children eligible for free school meals. Just weeks before the changes were announced, CAP had joined a campaign to see the payment increased, and Challenge Poverty Week became a valuable opportunity to highlight this. The payment was doubled, impacting low-income households across Scotland, and proving that awareness-raising tools like Challenge Poverty Week can be extremely effective.
So how can I get involved in Challenge Poverty Week in 2023?
Challenging poverty is something that we all can – and must – continue to do, both during these key events and all year round, so what can you do to add your voice?
Write to your local elected representative, or host a discussion event and invite local decision-makers to hear from members of your community.
Follow what CAP is doing on social media and share our posts with your friends.
As Christians, we have a powerful tool in our belt. Pray that all those involved in Challenge Poverty Week 2023 would be moved to take action, and for the ongoing fight against UK poverty