Understanding Poverty and Social Rights Through Lived Experience
Mon 14/10/2019

Launch of findings on the multidimensional nature of poverty in the UK

'Understanding Poverty and Social Rights Through Lived Experience':
ATD Fourth World will launch its report of a participatory research study at this conference
on 14 October at Amnesty International UK.

Too many people are falling through gaps in service provision in the UK today. Many have no choice but to sleep rough and resort to food banks. Given the growing awareness that poverty is multidimensional, this study asked the most affected people what that means.

This new report matters because the voices of people with direct experience of poverty were co-researchers at the forefront of designing, carrying out, and interpreting the research. One participant said: 'Poverty kills dreams and cages the dreamers'.
The research findings identify six dimensions that describe poverty in all its forms in the UK:

  • disempowering systems, structures and policies
  • financial insecurity, financial exclusion, and debt
  • damaged health and well-being
  • stigma, blame and judgement
  • lack of control over choices
  • unrecognised struggles, skills and contributions.

‘Poverty is not being able to smell the flowers because the stress of life gets in the way.’
- a participant with lived experience of poverty from the North of England

The co-researchers identified seven key messages:
1. It is essential that people with lived experience participate in tackling poverty. This requires time, careful planning and commitment.
2. There is a need for better indicators of poverty that emphasise and capture the human experience of poverty.
3. Inadequate financial resources are a cause of poverty that take away control and shorten lives.
4. The impact of stigma and negative judgement is a particularly painful part of poverty.
5. Participants agreed services should be enabling and supportive; but some services are experienced as controlling and oppressive.
6. The skills and contributions made to society by people in poverty often go unrecognised.
7. Individual resilience is no substitute for better systems, structures and policies.

The co-researchers with lived experience of poverty will be speaking at this conference and are available for individual press interviews.

Press contact: diana [dot] skelton [at] atd-fourthworld [dot] org, 07-452-958-458.
Event details: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/understanding-poverty-and-social-rights-


United Kingdom