During Challenge Poverty Week we held our first solo public event, A Platform for Positive Change, at Out of the Blue Drill Hall and we can safely say that it was a great success! Over 35 people attended, representing a mix of public services, third sector organisations and interested individuals. Participants had great discussions about the role of EaRN in tackling poverty and inequality across Edinburgh and surrounding areas.
Here are a few thoughts we took away from the discussions to turn into action points for coming months:

  • People experiencing discrimination and poverty should be supported to speak for themselves, not be spoken for- the lived experiences of those in poverty need to be the driving force behind positive change in policy and practice.
  • Harmful negative stereotypes of poverty persist- a working definition of poverty that takes into account its complexities needs to be promoted in both the media and wider society.
  • We don’t need to reinvent the wheel – lots of organisations and community groups are doing positive work to tackle poverty and inequality in Edinburgh and beyond. We should support people and organisations to learn from each other and share best practice. Which leads us to the next point…
  • Sharing information is power – initiatives like mutual mentoring and peer learning should be complemented with an online forum for organisations to connect with one another and identify where different inequalities intersect with one another.

It is this space – the intersection between inequalities –that EaRN will inhabit, through connecting individuals, organisations and public services with one another to address equality issues together rather than in isolation.