System stories

Thoughts from Civic and Business Commissioner Mandy, on being part of the third Leeds Poverty Truth Commission…

When I attended the first Poverty Truth meeting back in October 2019  I wasn’t sure what I was attending.  For me it was a difficult session.  A couple of the community commissioners told their story – talking about how they felt ground down by and quite cynical about the ‘system’ which was supposed to be there to support them.  It has always felt important to me to be in a job that adds social value and improves people’s lives.  It was therefore quite upsetting to hear about how the housing system fails people, often because staff strictly follow the procedure without really listening to the customer and their needs. 

I still remember each of the community commissioner stories and they come back to me periodically and influence the way that I work.  The session where we talked about the web of poverty was very thought provoking, helping me to appreciate just how many things contribute to that feeling of being trapped in poverty.

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