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In a just society, we must all challenge poverty

Improving the lives of the people of Scotland is what gets us out of bed in the morning. We set ourselves against poverty and disadvantage, and rightly so. Inspiring Scotland exists to help essential charities become extraordinary charities, so that they can support more of the people who need it, and help us all progress towards a just, compassionate and kind society.

We work alongside charities across the country, and we know from that work that far too many people and far too many children in Scotland are growing up in poverty. The Child Poverty Action Group estimates that one in four children have grown up in poverty across the country. That’s 240,000 children, across the country, experiencing poverty as a part of their everyday life.

Defeating poverty is a complex challenge. Much of it is structural. Much of it is societal. Tackling it has been one of the core missions of successive governments, from all parts of the political spectrum, for generations, and yet it persists, across society.

It is possible to tackle poverty in our communities, especially for the next generation of children and young people. It’s crucial we start by supporting individuals. Supporting them to have confidence and self-esteem and feel valued. To have hopes for their future and have the skills and the opportunity to realise them.

That principle is behind everything that Inspiring Scotland does. From Our Future Now, which supports young people to improve their mental and physical health and helps them to learn the essential skills to engage with education and work, to intandem which offers consistent, supportive mentoring relationships to looked after children and young people so they can become confident, capable adults.

It’s behind our work in Thrive Outdoors, helping to ensure children have the opportunity to play and reap the benefits of being active outdoors. It’s behind the work of Link Up, which works directly with people living communities that experience inequality. Helping to build confidence and self-esteem, Link Up brings local people together to learn new skills and build networks of support to help address the challenge of poverty in their local area.

Everything we do is aimed at supporting individuals so that they feel empowered to help themselves and their local community to succeed. It’s about the power of possibility and having a stake in the society in which you live.

By supporting people, helping them to improve their wellbeing and therefore their life chances, we can help forge stronger, more engaged communities. Communities that work together against poverty. This is one way that we can challenge poverty but deep structural changes to how our society looks after its citizens and how we value and treat each other are necessary too. Challenging – and defeating – poverty will only succeed if we all work together.

Julia Abel
Head of Funds

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