Dumfries and Galloway Tackling Poverty Group seeking new members

The Tackling Poverty Reference Group in Dumfries and Galloway is seeking to recruit more members in order to expand its services.

By Brian Yule
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 12:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 12:43 pm
More and more people are finding themselves living in poverty
More and more people are finding themselves living in poverty

As inflation increases and prices rise these services are becoming ever more necessary as a wide spectrum of people find themselves living in poverty.

The group is driven by a volunteers with direct experience of living in poverty from across the region and a variety of organisations involved in supporting issues around poverty.

Group chairwoman Jeanette Byers said: “The group was formed from volunteers who have first-hand experience of poverty and we advise and assist Dumfries and Galloway Council in the fight to tackle poverty in the region.

"It is vital to address poverty in many different ways, it means different things to different people.

"We are looking for people who really want to commit to helping others, who by no fault of their own find themselves in need of assistance in a terrible time in their lives.

"This is a very rewarding and fulfilling way to do good in our community.

"Volunteers are the life blood in areas like ours it is so very important for us to get new members to assist us in everyday struggles against adversity in the form of poverty.

"So please consider joining our group and doing everything possible in this really trying time to fight together against poverty.”

The group has been involved in work and opportunities to build confidence and gain an understanding of services designed to tackle poverty.

Members have visited a range of services throughout the region, and also attended a range of events with Police Scotland, NHS D&G, Third Sector D&G and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and engaged in dialogue with them around the causes and effects of poverty and have met with the council’s administration, at their request.

The council and its partners, through the Community Planning Executive Group (CPEG) are keen to further understand the challenges for people living in poverty and to address any barriers they may experience in accessing services.

They have discussed the inspection of services from a user perspective after which they will provide improvement recommendations and possibly act as a reference/consultation group for any council or partner policies that may impact on poverty.

Councillor Andy Ferguson, chairman of the council’s Communities Committee, said: “Our Anti-Poverty Strategy was never more necessary than it is now as poverty is increasingly covering a wider spectrum of people.

"The Tackling Poverty Reference Group continues to give us an opportunity to test proposals that people not experiencing poverty can’t see – it helps us look at services from ‘their’ perspective.”

Committee vice-chairman, Councillor John Martin, added: “Providing help and support and giving a voice to those with lived experience of poverty is at the forefront of our thoughts and the work the group does is absolutely vital to providing this assistance.”

For more information on becoming a volunteer email [email protected] or call 030 33 33 3000.