The Story So Far

Our second commission

The closing event of the second Leeds Poverty Truth Commission will be held on 2nd February. Commissioners have been meeting for 18 months to address issues that contribute to poverty in the city. At the event we will be launching our humanifesto. It outlines the dehumanising effects of poverty and suggests ways we can all get involved in making Leeds a more human city.

The second commission started in July 2016. At the first meeting, commissioners who have a direct experience of poverty presented some of their stories to the civic and business commissioners. Using poetry, film and spoken word they shared some of their experiences of poverty. This included the social isolation that poverty brings, the difficulty of getting on the ladder out of poverty and that receiving benefits is not a lifestyle choice. Take a look at the Poverty Truth fanzine we produced to illustrate some of our stories.

By meeting together regularly the commissioners have built strong relationships. They have listened to one another’s experiences, established small-scale experiments to discover new ways Leeds may respond to poverty and reflected together on what they have learnt. You can find out a little more about our process here.

During this time, commissioners have travelled around spreading the news of Leeds Poverty Truth Commission. We’ve been in Newcastle at an arts festival, Preston at a Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS conference and London at the launch of JRF’s anti-poverty strategy. In addition, three of our commissioners went to meet the Pope in Rome. You can see some of their story here.

Our first commission

The first commission was launched in February 2014 and finished in July 2015.

The timetable below outlines the journey of our first commission:

6 February 2014 – Opening Event (highlights video; full event video)

February – April 2014 – Challenge members getting to know each other as people and working out how we could work together. Deciding the 3 issues that the Challenge team would take on

May 2014– May 2015 – 3 working groups were formed, exploring these three themes: mental health and poverty, young people achieving their potential, and the stigma of poverty for individuals and neighbourhoods.

June 2015 – Preparing and presenting the findings of the working groups at a public event at Civic Hall.

June 25th 2015 – Closing event at the Civic Hall and publication of our final report.

Full Film of Opening Event
Highlights of the Opening Event