Over the past year, GMPA has been working to establish a Poverty Truth Commission (PTC) in Tameside. This is an important piece of work, central to GMPA’s belief that people with lived experience of poverty should be embedded in the decision-making structures and systems of Greater Manchester. The Tameside PTC will bring together people from various parts of the borough for the purpose of understanding the lived reality of those impacted by poverty and influencing policy and practice.
The Poverty Truth Commission, in a nutshell, starts by questioning what would happen if the people who have directly faced poverty, were involved in the making of decisions around poverty. This question comes from the belief that no lasting social change happens, without the people suffering under the status quo taking a lead in bringing about the change, a principle that can be seen throughout the history of social change, from the suffragettes to the civil rights movements.
The process involves bringing together fifteen testifying commissioners, all of whom have experienced poverty in one form or another and over time, this group spend time sharing stories and experiences with each other. They then consider who in the borough might have influence to bring change. Civic and business leaders are then invited to join the commission as co-commissioners. The Poverty Truth Commission is not about the leaders and organisations providing the solutions but is instead about developing a relationship of empathy between both sides and seeing what happens when their combined resources and wisdom are brought together.
You can hear from Fran, one of the Commissioners, about why she is involved and her hopes for bringing positive change in Tameside through the Commission here.
Over the past year, we have managed to recruit ten lived experience commissioners and 8 civic and business leaders. We have begun to meet in person and share stories over a few cooked breakfasts and have enjoyed getting to know one another and sharing experiences. We are on track to meeting our deadline for a launch event in Autumn 2021, where we will share publicly, some of the stories from our current commissioners. Our recruitment of lived experience commissioners is also still open until early September. For more information, email Beatrice or call 07423014430. We look forward to sharing more with you next time. We are also delighted to welcome Hannah Lamberth to GMPA. She will be working on the Tameside PTC with me, and you can read more about her in the next newsletter.
Tameside poverty Truth Commission Facilitator
Tameside Poverty Truth Commission is a Greater Manchester Poverty Action programme