Breaking the cycle of poverty

Breaking the cycle of poverty

Social inequality means the differences in status, resources, income and power that exist within a society and between different societies. For example, money, education, housing, healthcare, and more secure, better paid employment. Inequalities in our communities have a negative impact on community wellbeing, and are known to have a negative impact on health and life expectancy. Is inequality and poverty an issue in your area? How does it affect your community? Should we look into how Scotland can work towards ending the cycle of poverty and inequalities as part of our work on Community Wellbeing?

Points

Its all about happiness! Studies have shown that the inequality in society has a bigger negative impact on the happiness of citizens than the absolute level of poverty. Scotland has one of the highest levels of inequality in the world - and the gap is widening. Please prioritise this.😀

Invest time + support to help communities help themselves, eg. physical, social, environmental, regeneration. Community breakfasts, community centres where people can go, volunteering- connecting people. Building skills: education, work, training. Expectations- from inside and outside. Challenges: apathetic communities on brink of mainstream services, low aspirations and lack of opportunities, acceptance of less. We lost our golf course, in other areas there would have been an outcry.

Firsthand experience of using foodbanks – feel humiliated and like a failure for having to use foodbanks I remember the stigma of having free school meals, everyone knew you were poor & it made you feel worthless, & a sense that “this wasn’t my fault”. To get a referral to a foodbank is the same feeling of declaring that you are broke. Same feeling of humiliation. Sometimes the food bank you are referred to isn’t in the geographical location near you & it can change every six weeks.

Sometimes the food bank you are referred to isn’t in the geographical location near you and it can change every six weeks to a different one. This is very stressful. I have a friend whose daughter is a single parent and is struggling with a buggy on a bus and the box from the food bank for miles across the city. Also meeting the cost of travel on a budget is difficult.

Discussion around food banks Firsthand experience of using foodbanks – feel humiliated and like a failure for having to use foodbanks I remember the stigma of having free school meals, everyone knew you were poor and it made you feel worthless, and a sense that “this wasn’t my fault”. To get a referral to a foodbank is the same feeling of declaring that you are broke. Same feeling of humiliation. Sometimes the food bank you are referred to isn’t in the geographical location near you.

Carers allowance I felt that the letter from the Scottish government and 2 yearly amounts of £226 has been a real help. One in the summer holidays and one before Christmas. These are at two points in the year when I am struggling and really help to ease the pressure. It was nice for our role as carers to be acknowledge as valuable in a letter from the First Minister.

Poverty is hidden in Shetland but it is still persistent. The cost of living in Shetland is high. Shetland is perceived to be relatively well off. People live rurally and can be isolated We have had a Children in need grant in order to give families basic household items. There is food poverty and ‘holiday hunger’ Underemployment means that people who would access entry level jobs find it hard to get employment because jobs in the service industry are taken by people over qualified for them

Social inequality is at the root cause of many other social problems - sort this and other issues will be easier to address.

Do you think the Committee should focus on the impact of poverty on Community Wellbeing in future work?

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