After a short break in August, the team at GMPA has a very busy few months ahead. We’re using the front page of this week’s newsletter to update you on our autumn activities.
Firstly, thank you to everyone who booked onto our Understanding Poverty Data course taking place later this month. This course is now fully booked. However, we have several places remaining on the Exploring the Poverty Premium course (October 18th). Please look at the training page of our website for details of how to book a place.
On October 26th we are delighted to be hosting an event looking at child and family poverty strategies. Lisa Nandy MP will be speaking at the event and we’re being hosted by Kellogg’s in Media City. We’ll be presenting research looking at which local authorities across England have poverty strategies in place. With the Westminster Government no longer having its own child poverty strategy and seemingly having abandoned this agenda, it is increasingly important that local authorities and their partners work to fill the vacuum. The event is free to attend and open to all, but places are limited so please book as soon as possible via EventBrite.
Next Wednesday (September 19th) we will be launching research looking at crisis support provided through local welfare assistance schemes. These schemes, operated by local authorities, replaced the old central government Discretionary Social Fund in 2013 and, despite the best efforts of many local councils, are under huge pressure in many parts of the country. We’ll be sending the report out to newsletter recipients next Wednesday morning. In advance of this, tomorrow I’m speaking at a workshop being organised by the Children’s Society where we’ll be looking at approaches to providing crisis support. Later on in the day I’ll be speaking at Child Poverty Action Group’s annual welfare rights conference (I hope to see some of you there).
The beginning of November marks this year’s Living Wage Week. As hosts of the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign we’ll be announcing our plans for Living Wage Week in the next couple of newsletters.
The work of our Food Poverty Alliance continues apace, and it isn’t too late to
get involved. Please take a look at our Food Poverty website page for full details, and please fill in the Food Poverty action surveys if you haven’t already.
As most of our readers will be aware, GMPA provides a map of Greater Manchester showing the locations of food providers for people in need . Following recommendations from members of the Food Poverty Alliance, we have amended the map to highlight the growing number of food pantries, food clubs and meal offers in the city region. When we launched the map in January 2017 there were 136 locations, now there are more than 170, but increasingly the new pins represent pantry-style options. This is an encouraging sign as while emergency providers such as food banks are a vital lifeline for people in moments of crisis, this provision must be matched by more sustainable approaches that can support people before they reach crisis point. You can read more about the pantry model on page 2.
And lastly before I sign off. Thank you to everyone who engages and supports the work of GMPA. Without your interest, advice and support we wouldn’t be able to do our work. A big thank you from Tom, Chris and myself.
I hope to see you soon.