We are living through one of the biggest global health crises of the last 100 years. There is not a single person unaffected by the threat of Coronavirus infection and the measures that have been put in place to keep the virus at bay.
This will be a particularly challenging time for people experiencing poverty, and those at risk of falling into poverty as many of the support services they rely on come under strain and have to adapt to growing levels of need.
At Greater Manchester Poverty Action we are looking to support local authorities and other stakeholders in the city region with responses to the virus, ensuring poverty is taken into account so that people on low incomes are supported as much as possible. We are part of the core team for Greater Manchester’s food response, which is working to support coordinated action on food across GM during the crisis.
Like many organisations, much of our normal work will progress at a slower pace, and all pre-arranged meetings including the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign group have either been postponed or moved to online conference calls. We will endeavour to maintain our regular newsletter, with the next edition after Easter on April 22nd (copy deadline April 15th) and as such we would welcome any articles and links to useful resources that we can include. Please let us have information about your own organisation’s response or situation but especially any positive stories or successes that we can share and that we all need to read at this very difficult time. We have also created a page on our website to help keep people up to date with the work that we are doing and to link through to up to date information and advice.
As we are only a small team with limited resources and capacity, we may not be as responsive to enquiries about other aspects of our work at this time. Additionally, it may not be possible to keep other parts of our website as up to date as we usually would over the coming months. We will do our best.
The government have stepped in with several measures to help people on low incomes and those who face a drop in income. There is more that will need to be done, and we will be supporting national campaigns and policy changes including through the End Child Poverty Coalition and End Hunger UK, to help add our voice to calls to increase support for people facing hardship.
Many thanks to all the people who have completed the two surveys we have been running. The results from the food providers survey have been sent through to a range of stakeholders, including the Combined Authority and the ten local authorities. We are also linking up with the VCSE infrastructure organisations so that they can make best use of the information being gathered.
Please take every possible care and thank you for all that you are doing,
Tom, Graham, John and Chris