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Reform Magazine | December 1, 2023

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Poverty: How we can act

Poverty: How we can act

This month sees the 40th anniversary of the founding of Church Action on Poverty. Now, together, we can end poverty says its Director, Niall Cooper

All of us can help end poverty in this country. You, me, our neighbours and friends – everyone who wants to can play a part. Even in these daunting economic times, we have the resources and expertise to fashion our society so everyone can live with dignity, agency and power.

But how do we get there? That question is at the heart of Church Action on Poverty’s thinking, as we – and I – mark a double anniversary.

It is 40 years this summer since Church Action on Poverty was founded, and 25 years since I became director. Anniversaries inevitably prompt reflection: together, you and we have challenged the unjust treatment of people seeking sanctuary, helped change the law on irresponsible lending, and influenced policy in multiple areas, such as universal credit, holiday hunger, the minimum wage and financial inclusion. We have worked in depth with people in poverty, loosening poverty’s grip and amplifying voices that had often been drowned out.

But rather than dwell on the past, our task is to look firmly ahead. Poverty has not been ended, and things are likely to get significantly harder as a result of the biggest drop in living standards for a generation. In these times, where do we find hope? What progress can we realistically make over the next five or ten years?…

Niall Cooper is the Director of Church Action on Poverty


This is an extract from an article published in the June 2022 edition of Reform

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