Food & Wellbeing

Be Smoke Free

No comments

By Katie Burke, Community and Engagement Lead, Change Grow Live

With the cost of living on the rise, many people living in Greater Manchester are looking for ways to reduce their outgoings. April 1st saw the cost of electricity rise by approximately 50%, motorists are finding themselves spending more at the petrol station due to rises in fuel prices, and we’ve seen our weekly shop get gradually more expensive in recent months.

If you smoke, cutting back or quitting cigarettes can be a great way to save money. The table below illustrates the average cost per year for smoking, depending on the price and number of cigarettes smoked. The figures are startling – imagine the things that can be done with that sort of money!

We know that we’re living through stressful times, and many smokers in Greater Manchester smoke to relieve that stress. Because of this, you might be thinking ‘‘No way can I give up the fags!’’, but fear not, because free stop-smoking support is available.

Be Smoke Free for GM Poverty Action

Be Smoke Free is a specialist nurse-led tobacco addiction service powered by Change Grow Live, in partnership with Manchester Health Care Commissioning Service and Manchester City Council. Be Smoke Free’s aim is to raise awareness of the negative effects of smoking and to support individuals in quitting smoking. The service was born in April 2020, and since then has supported over 700 people to successfully quit after four weeks, and over 400 people to successfully quit over twelve weeks.

As the table demonstrates, quitters can make life-changing savings to their expenditure alongside the well publicised health benefits of going smoke free.

Be Smoke Free supports people 12 years+ who live in Manchester or are registered with a Manchester-based GP to stop smoking via evidence-based treatment. When working with Be Smoke Free the individual receives:

•  A free and direct supply of nicotine replacement therapy and medication (including vapes), without the need for a prescription or GP appointment.

•  A dedicated Tobacco Addiction Specialist Nurse who will provide ongoing behavioural support during bi-weekly appointments.

•  Treatment that typically lasts twelve weeks, with medication and nicotine replacement therapy provided free of and delivered to the individual’s home.

Our service is completely free of charge, so if you, or somebody you know, is ready to start their stop-smoking journey and save money in the process, you can contact Be Smoke Free directly on 0161 823 4157 or visit their website www.changegrowlive.org/be-smoke-free to access the direct self-referral form.

 

i3oz9sBe Smoke Free
read more

GaMHive

No comments

An Introduction to GaMHive

GaMHive was launched in January 2022. Their members have been brought together through their experience with gambling-related harm. Their mission is to signpost those affected, either directly or indirectly by gambling, to organisations that could offer support with regards to counselling, education, recovery, and staying well. They aim to address the stigma associated with gambling addiction and by doing so, encourage others to seek help.  The support services which are signposted, are accessible to everyone and the support can be tailored to meet the individual’s needs.

The initiative is from the Greater Manchester area with the hope of providing a service to the community in that region. They aim to raise awareness of the negative impact of advertising to vulnerable individuals, the detrimental harm of subliminal advertising, and the easy access of gambling products to the young, in particular.

They will be working alongside other support organisations, such as NHS gambling service, Beacon counselling, Gamblers Anonymous, and GamFam, to name a few, to provide a holistic approach to the support offered so that those accessing support would find the service that is suitable for them.

For more information please visit their website.

 

GaMHive’s core aims are to:

  • Raise awareness and reduce stigma of gambling related harm in Greater Manchester
  • Collaborate and signpost those experiencing gambling related harm, either as a gambler or an affected other, towards support and guidance organisations
  • Advocate for lasting policy change locally and nationally
  • To give voices of lived experience the opportunity to contribute to the development of research, education and treatment services within Greater Manchester

 

i3oz9sGaMHive
read more

Poverty and Family Adversity – The Impact on Adolescent Health

No comments

By Simon Watts, Public Health Registrar, Greater Manchester

A study published in the Lancet in November 2021 presented important findings for action at a local, regional and national level. It is well established that poverty has negative health implications for children. However, this study sought to understand how poverty interacted and clustered with other health risk factors, potentially exacerbating the impact of poverty on children’s health issues even further.

Data from the already-established Millennium Cohort Study was used to analyse health outcomes for a cohort of 11,564 families who had children born between September 2000 and January 2002. The children were followed up in terms of their health and living situation until their 14th birthday.

During the 14 years of follow up, questions were asked about levels of poverty in the family and about three indicators of family adversity: poor parental mental health, domestic violence/abuse and frequency of parental alcohol use. Physical and mental health outcomes for the children were measured at age 14 using well established methods. Health outcomes of interest were socioemotional behavioural problems, cognitive disability, obesity, and/or experimentation with alcohol and drugs.

More than half of the children in the study experienced one or more of the exposures to poverty. These negative exposures were associated with worse child physical, mental, cognitive and behavioural outcomes compared to those children with no exposure.

Over 40% of children were exposed to poverty and/or parental mental health problems throughout childhood. The most common exposure was poverty (34.6%) which made a child twice as likely to experience the poor health outcomes described above (except for alcohol and drug experimentation). Similarly, children who were exposed to poor parental mental health were twice as likely to experience those same poor health outcomes. The 11.1% of children who were exposed to both poor parental mental health and poverty were more than six times as likely to develop mental health problems themselves, and twice as likely to become obese or experience cognitive disability.

The paper touches on why poverty and mental health issues may both exist for some families. Some of the linkages between the two may be obvious, such as the stress of managing household finances or the depression that may be associated with losing one’s job and income. However, the paper also references that poor mental health can lead to poverty, through loss of employment for example. This is supported by other research findings which show that those with mental health illness are less likely to be employed, even more so with more severe illness.

This study provides a stark reminder of the strong link between poverty and poor health outcomes and is particularly harrowing given these poor outcomes are being evidenced in children. While there are a range of factors that impact health, the strength of the relationship between poverty and child health, and parental mental health and child health, should not be ignored.

Interventions to address poverty will have a positive health impact, and while they could cost the system money to deliver in the short term, the benefits will be seen through reduced stress on the health and social care system in the long run. Given the high proportion of children exposed to poverty and the poor health outcomes associated with this later in their life, policy makers must focus on interventions that seek to prevent and reduce poverty when aiming to improve population health.

The authors of the study highlight the critical importance of not seeing child’s health issues in isolation. To be successful, interventions to address children’s socioemotional behavioural problems, cognitive disability, obesity or alcohol/drug use need to consider more broadly the socioeconomic conditions of the family and other structural factors which may be causing the ill health, and how these wider issues can be addressed. Interventions that do this will be more effective than those that just focus on one risk or one problem.

Simon Watts Poverty and Adolescent health for GM Poverty Action

Simon Watts

The fact that health outcomes are much worse when poverty and parental mental health issues are both at play, supports a holistic approach being taken which ensures families are supported when both issues are present. This could be money management support teams offering brief intervention and signposting around mental health, or primary care practitioners ensuring that residents with mental health issues are offered income maximisation support, housing advice or other social issues that may be interacting with their poor mental health.

To read the article in full click here.

 

i3oz9sPoverty and Family Adversity – The Impact on Adolescent Health
read more

Mental Health at Christmas

No comments

By Boris Mackey, Community Liaison Manager, rehab4addiction

‘Jolly’, ‘happy, and ‘fun’ are just a few of the words often used to describe Christmas. It is a time of year that is synonymous with festivities, parties, and spending time with friends and family.

However, some people would describe Christmas differently – stressful, exhausting, or strenuous, for example.

For these people, Christmas can be a challenging time of the year. It brings pressure to plan the perfect day, to buy the perfect gift, avoid social isolation, or even relieve potentially difficult past experiences. As a result, many people might suffer from mental health issues during the Christmas period. Studies have shown that stress, anxiety, and depression, can be particularly high during this season.

It is a time where finances can come under a lot of strain, and people can get into debt. Expectations for lots of gifts and fancy meals can cause some people a great deal of stress – particularly for those that are unemployed. (1)

Loneliness is also particularly prevalent at Christmas. Studies have shown that isolation can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.  Many people do not have family or friends they can spend time with, and some might be going through difficult family situations, such as divorce or bereavement. (2)

Christmas can also put a lot of pressure on people to join in with the festivities; this usually means eating and drinking a lot more than usual. For a lot of people, this can be a mental health trigger. Those suffering from alcohol dependency, for example, or those with eating disorders. (4)

Although these issues can seem overwhelming, there are some helpful coping tools readily available.

One of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone. Many people struggle with Christmas, and it is perfectly normal to find it a stressful experience. If you are feeling overwhelmed or that your mental health is suffering, it is a good idea to talk to someone – this could be friends or family.

However, if you are experiencing Christmas alone, there are medical professionals and local organisations that can help (see useful organisations below). It might also be worth trying to get involved in a local community project or volunteering. These will help combat isolation and provide a chance to connect with like-minded people. (3)

Another great coping tool is to plan and organise your Christmas. This will help minimise things or events that might be mental health triggers. This could also include planning a diet, exercise, or hobbies.

Make sure to take a break from social media too. Social media will contain lots of posts relating to Christmas and has the potential to trigger stress and anxiety. (2)

For more information about mental health issues and coping strategies at Christmas, see the infographic below:

 

Mental Health Infographic for GM Poverty ActionReferences

[1] Richardson, Thomas, Peter Elliott, Ron Roberts, and Megan Jansen. “A longitudinal study of financial difficulties and mental health in a national sample of British undergraduate students.” Community mental health journal 53, no. 3 (2017): 344-352.

[2] Wang, Jingyi, Farhana Mann, Brynmor Lloyd-Evans, Ruimin Ma, and Sonia Johnson. “Associations between loneliness and perceived social support and outcomes of mental health problems: a systematic review.” BMC Psychiatry 18, no. 1 (2018): 1-16.

[3] Yeung, Jerf WK, Zhuoni Zhang, and Tae Yeun Kim. “Volunteering and health benefits in general adults: cumulative effects and forms.” BMC public health 18, no. 1 (2018): 1-8.

[4] Learn more about stress and anxiety which is covered in the Alcohol Rehab Manchester guide.

 

i3oz9sMental Health at Christmas
read more

Food insecurity

No comments

Hunger and the welfare state

By Lisa Scullion, University of Salford & Ben Baumberg Geiger, University of Kent

A major new research report looks at food insecurity among benefits claimants during COVID-19, finding that half of Universal Credit (UC)claimants are insecure, and one-quarter severely food insecure – even before the removal of the £20/week uplift.

This is the conclusion of a new report by Welfare at a (Social) Distance, a major national research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19.

Using a large nationally representative survey of benefits claimants in May/June 2021 together with a survey of the general public, the Hunger and the welfare state report shows people claiming UC (which received the £20/week COVID-19 uplift) saw no rise in food insecurity during COVID-19. In contrast, those claiming ESA/JSA (which did not) saw sharply rising insecurity. This suggests the £20/week uplift helped reduce food insecurity.

The new Household Support Fund will not compensate for the end of the UC uplift or benefit announcements made in the Budget. Simple arithmetic means that a £500 million fund can only make up for the loss of £20 a week for around 1.3 million of the nearly 6 million people claiming UC. Even if the fund is targeted perfectly, it cannot cover even the 1.7 million who were severely food insecure and can cover less than half of the 3 million UC claimants who had any food insecurity. Most UC claimants already in food insecurity will therefore lose £20/wk.

Yet the report finds that food insecurity is a broader problem: even with the uplift, 50.0% of UC claimants were food insecure, and 28.8% were severely food insecure. Even among UC claimants receiving the £20/wk uplift and not subject to any policies that raise the risk of food insecurity, we estimate that 29.4% were food insecure, and 16.1% were severely food insecure. A significant fall in food insecurity would require a much broader increase in the level of benefits.

The report also finds that food insecurity is noticeably higher among (i) claimants receiving deductions from their benefits (e.g. due to past advances), or subject to the under-occupancy penalty (‘bedroom tax’) or benefit cap; (ii) the 55.1% of claimants who made debt repayments in the previous month; and (iii) disabled people, particularly those not receiving multiple disability-related benefit payments.

Even ignoring DWP deductions from benefits, more than half of claimants repaid debts in the last month. These claimants are 20 percentage points more likely to be food insecure than other claimants. Inescapable debt payments reduce the amount that people have to live on and need to be taken into account in poverty measures.

If benefits are to provide an adequate income, then the DWP cannot ignore claimant debt. While the Government have taken useful steps towards tackling problem debt by launching the ‘Breathing Space’ scheme, more needs to be done to check for debts among all claimants and then to help them by comprehensively providing orsignposting claimants to debt advice.

 

i3oz9sFood insecurity
read more

Fixing Lunch

No comments

The case for expanding free school meals (FSM)

A new report by CPAG and Covid Realities

Child Poverty Action Group press release for GM Poverty ActionThe Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Covid Realties have released a new report, Fixing Lunch: The case for expanding free school meals. The report brings together findings from CPAG analysis and the Covid Realities research programme to highlight problems with existing FSM provision. It also draws on research carried out as part of CPAG and Children North East’s UK Cost of the School Day project.

Despite a rise in the number of children claiming FSMs between March 2020 and March 2021, there are still one million school-aged children in poverty who miss out on any form of FSM provision because of restrictive eligibility criteria. The proportion of children in poverty not getting free school meals varies a lot across the 4 nations, and is highest in Wales and England (where 42% and 37% of children in poverty miss out on free meals respectively). Rates are much lower in Scotland (17%) and Northern Ireland (22%).

Key recommendations, developed with Covid Realities participants, are:

•   Work towards the long-term goal of universal provision of FSM for all children across the UK.
•   In the short term, increase eligibility to every family on Universal Credit (or equivalent benefits).
•   Eligibility should also be extended to all families with no recourse to public funds.
•   Follow the Scottish Government’s lead, extend free school meals to all primary school children across the UK.
•   Support family finances throughout the year by addressing the inadequacy of the social security system.
•  As a first step, the planned £20 cut to universal credit must be abandoned.Covid Realities logo for GM Poverty Action

 

i3oz9sFixing Lunch
read more

Mental Wellbeing

No comments

Greater Manchester Mental Wellbeing conversation findings published

By Charlene Mulhern, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership

Findings from the Greater Manchester Mental Wellbeing conversation have been published with over 4,000 people emphasising what is important for their mental wellbeing.

The aim is to use this information to understand what matters and to shape future initiatives to improve mental wellbeing, making sure they reflect the needs of local people. Key findings have indicated that:

  • The majority, (97%), of Greater Manchester citizens think that mental wellbeing is important or very important;
  • Whilst significantly more people know what to do if they wanted to improve their mental wellbeing,(58%), there are 42% who are either unsure or who have no idea;
  • Work (and/or college) is the single biggest factor associated with poor mental wellbeing and cited by around 1/3 of all respondents, followed by existing mental health illnesses and / or disabilities;
  • Almost two in three people in Greater Manchester (61%) don’t feel connected to their community or place;
  • An emphasis of green open space, the ambiance of the surroundings, good facilities and events and people behaving in a more supportive ‘community’ way would meet most people’s needs (63%) for a place of positive wellbeing. This reinforces that improving mental wellbeing is as much about shaping places as it is about engaging people
  • The people surveyed highlight that too many people aren’t very happy (5.2/10), don’t find life satisfying (5.1/10) and worthwhile (5.7/10) and have fairly high levels of anxiety (5.6/10)

Responses to questions clearly indicated that there is no one single solution. Improving mental wellbeing across the population will require a whole system approach which involves everyone working together to bring about sustainable long-term system change. A plan to respond to feedback is now underway.

Access to the detailed report can be found here

 

i3oz9sMental Wellbeing
read more

Poverty as a Health Issue

No comments

By Simon Watts, Public Health Registrar on placement with GMPA

Poverty can cause ill health, but ill health can lead to poverty. We are seeing this more visibly with Covid-19, but this was apparent before the pandemic. As apublic health professional, I am passionate about preventing ill health. This short piece argues that poverty is one of the root causes of ill health and that these two large areas of public policy should not be considered in isolation.

Poverty can cause ill health in several ways. Through my recent research into local welfare assistance I have heard stories of residents living in cold, carpet-less, houses and not being able to afford to eat or pay their bills. These stories have clear links to poor physical and mental health and show the importance of strong welfare support in preventing ill health. Good housing, education and fairly paid jobs are also some of the things that will reduce poverty and protect people’s health longer term. These societal factors have a direct impact on health, but often aren’t talked about in the context of health. Improving health is about the NHS, right? Partly, but the NHS treating illness is only part of the picture. And, treating ill health is usually more expensive than preventing ill health in the first place.

Investing in poverty to improve health

Those on the lowest incomes are more likely to be in poor health and more likely to access emergency healthcare services. This is extremely distressing for the residents it impacts and their families, but it also puts pressure on local health budgets. This has been the case for a long time, but more could be done to change it. Investing what little funds there are available locally to reduce poverty could improve resident’s health and save CCGs and local authorities money in the longer term.

Similarly, we invest in a range of public health advice about how to lead a healthy lifestyle; what to eat, the need to take the right amount of exercise. However, we know that some groups are less able to act on this advice, particularly those on lower incomes who might face additional pressures and stress, so the health gap between low and high income groups widens further (Naidoo & Wills, 2016). Why is that? If your material, basic needs aren’t being fulfilled, why would a balanced diet, or taking regular exercise even be on your mind? Health is not a choice when you are struggling to make your rent or feed your family. Trying to tackle important lifestyle issues without tackling poverty will fail and will leave some lower income groups behind.

If we don’t tackle poverty as one of the underlying causes of poor health, we will continue to pour money into health treatment services without addressing one of the key root causes of that ill health.

There are positive examples of progress though. Across Greater Manchester there are a range of services which work with residents to help improve their circumstances. One of these services, Focused Care, work with residents to support them with underlying challenges in their lives such as housing issues or benefits; when these issues are resolved residents may then have the space and time to focus on their longer term health.

Similarly, my recent work on local welfare provision in Greater Manchester has identified some local authorities which offer strong support for those in financial crisis, helping people get back on their feet and improving their mental and physical health as a result. But access to that support is variable across the city region.

Local authority leadership and governance around poverty mitigation and reduction is needed to improve living conditions, and ultimately health. There are Greater Manchester authorities which have strong structures in place to help reduce poverty, led by elected members, but in some authorities poverty appears to be less engrained in decision making. It is worth looking to Scotland, where action plans on poverty reduction are a mandatory requirement for each local authority, as well as the need to consider inequalities in every policy decision through the Fairer Scotland Duty.

Targeted health interventions can reduce poverty

Poor health can also cause poverty, through no longer be able to work for example. Ideally more ill health would be prevented in the first place, which would reduce financial hardship but, as discussed, preventing ill health is complex. However, the health system can help prevent more severe illness if practitioners know about warning signs and symptoms early enough and work with individuals to manage them.

An example of innovation in this space is a GP pilot in Greater Manchester, funded through the commissioning improvement budget. The pilot involved contacting residents who hadn’t visited their GP for several years, starting with those who had historic risk factors such as high blood pressure or a history of smoking. If those residents didn’t respond, they were followed up, even if that meant multiple phone calls or a home visit.

Traditionally a patient might not have been followed up if they couldn’t be reached three times. Changing that approach meant GP practices persistently seeking out residents who wouldn’t normally engage, helping them proactively manage their health issues, which if left unmanaged could have resulted in a health crisis.  The pilot was disrupted by COVID-19, but this approach is supported elsewhere and could help reduce severe illness and the associated financial hardship.

Conclusions

Simon Watts for GM Poverty Action

Simon Watts

I am convinced that a strategy of proactively supporting the health of our most vulnerable residents will make a positive impact on their health and wealth, when complemented by a wider ranging, local-authority-led poverty mitigation and reduction strategy that targets the underlying causes of poverty. This should be supported by poverty and health being considered in all policy decisions.

The cost of not addressing poverty could be higher from a health and societal perspective than investing in interventions that can reduce poverty. Using elements of the healthcare budget, such as commissioning improvement funds, to support vulnerable groups and poverty reduction could reduce pressure on the healthcare budget longer term.

 

 

i3oz9sPoverty as a Health Issue
read more

The National Food Strategy

No comments

The National Food Strategy: What does it do for food poverty?
By Sian Mullen

Part one of the National Food Strategy, an independent review supported by a team of experts across the food system, was published last month. It aims to make, “urgent recommendations to support the country through the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to prepare for the end of the EU exit transition period”.

Initially, the strategy does a good job of steering the conversation towards the relationship between food and economics. It highlights some of the factors that cause food poverty: sudden unemployment, the housing benefit cap, and delay in receiving universal credit. Equally, it recognises that the lack of a “financial buffer”, experienced by those in low paid jobs, means they are less likely to be able to cope with the shock of a loss of income. Thus, it correctly determines that food poverty is not caused by a lack of food, it is caused by a lack of funds to buy it.

However, the strategy recommendations do not focus on fixing these underlying causes of poverty. Aside from a brief note to continue to measure food poverty (an important factor in ensuring the right work is done in the right place), the focus is directed towards free meals and voucher support. It predominantly focuses on children, presumably based on the slightly misleading assertion that, “new food bank users are overwhelmingly children and young people”. A closer look at the statistics relating to this claim reveal that while 21% of users during COVID-19 were families with dependent children and 5% did not have dependent children, the other 74% of respondents ‘preferred not to answer’. It is questionable to draw any conclusions around the age of users from such statistics. Equally, 22% of new food bank users (over the age of 16), were aged between 16-24; a significant, but not overwhelming proportion of the population.

This is not to detract from the importance of ensuring that children have access to nutritious food. However, this singular emphasis on children runs the risk of a strategic focus that concentrates on food handouts and vouchers as opposed to changes in welfare and employment policies to ensure adults have access to a decent and reliable income in order to feed themselves and their children.

One of the key recommendations is an increase in the value of Healthy Start vouchers. Whilst valuing initiatives aimed at ensuring children are nutritionally healthy, there are flaws to this approach. Firstly, if people do not have enough money to provide for their children, then they should receive more money. Cash assistance avoids issues surrounding accessing vouchers, issues around accessing shops where you can spend vouchers, and provides the recipient with dignity and equality when buying products (for an interesting perspective on the relegation of those on benefits to a world outside of money see: Williams (2013)). Critics argue that vouchers are necessary to ensure funds are spent as intended, however evidence suggests that cash schemes are successful in meeting project aims (Bailey (2013); DFID (2017)) and the level of control provided by vouchers is unreasonable and promotes
dependence on handouts,

“One of the principles of universal credit is to encourage personal responsibility.
It’s inconsistent … to say a benefit claimant should be trusted to pay their rent,
but we shouldn’t trust them to buy food…”
(CPAG)

Secondly, the uptake of Healthy Start vouchers is low with the current rate at only 48%. If vouchers are going to be the temporary answer, then there needs to be a focus on maximising take-up through proper promotion of the support that’s available, reducing complexity and stigma and measures to ensure vouchers can be accessed easily.’

Sian Mullen Food Poverty Programme Coordinator for GM Poverty ActionUltimately, if we are going to end food poverty then we need to address the problems that lead to food poverty. What we really need in Greater Manchester is a strategy that focuses on ensuring everyone has access to a decent and reliable income (Caraher & Furey (2017); Garnham (2020); Macleod (2019); Tait (2015)). Yes, we need some short-term fixes to the symptoms, but without a strategy that has a clear long-term goal of a decent and reliable income for all, the problem of food poverty will remain.

Sian Mullen
GMPA Food Poverty Programme Coordinator

 

 

i3oz9sThe National Food Strategy
read more

Food poverty programme

No comments

GMPA’s Food Poverty Programme Update, and Introducing Sian Mullen
By Tom Skinner

Addressing the underlying causes of food poverty has been a major focus of GMPA’s work over the last three years. Many of you have contributed to it, including through the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance project which co-produced the GM Food Poverty Action Plan, published last year.

Since then, we have pushed for many of the actions in the plan to happen. This includes:

  • The GM Combined Authority collating information about poverty levels, access to food, Healthy Start voucher uptake and more, and sharing this with Local Authorities.
  • A greater recognition of the Combined and Local Authorities’ roles in reducing poverty as a means of tackling food poverty, and elected members and officers being tasked with this.
  • Increasingly joined up thinking about food provision during the school holidays. (Although we eventually want to reach a state where the need for charitable food aid is significantly reduced.)
  • More recently we have been very involved in helping to support and shape GM’s response to Covid-19, particularly addressing the extra impact that the pandemic has had on people in poverty.

To build on this work we recently recruited to a new post – Food Poverty Programme Coordinator – that will focus on implementing the action plan and support measures that address the underlying causes of food poverty.  This work will include piloting place-based partnership approaches to reducing food poverty in different localities across Greater Manchester. We were delighted to have appointed Sian Mullen to the role.


Sian Mullen

Sian Mullen Food Poverty Programme Coordinator for GM Poverty ActionSian has worked in the development and humanitarian sectors both in the UK and abroad for many years. She is passionate about working to alleviate poverty to create a more equal society, and is excited to be focusing on reducing food poverty in Greater Manchester.

Sian has lived in Manchester since 2012 when she came to complete her PhD in Humanitarianism.

Prior to joining GMPA she worked as a programme manager with Oxfam, coordinating their poverty alleviation programme across Greater Manchester. She has also been an active volunteer with several charities involved in food provision including during the Covid-19 response.


Tom for GMFPA article for GM Poverty Action

Tom Skinner, GMPA Co-Director

At GMPA we are excited about working with Sian and many of our partners over the coming years as we work towards our vision of a Greater Manchester free from poverty. Linked to this is the need for national action on food poverty. Part one of the National Food Strategy, an independent  review supported by a team of experts across the food  system, was published last month. You can read GMPA’s comments in response to the strategy in a separate article on the news page.

 

i3oz9sFood poverty programme
read more