Poverty Stigma

Project status Active

Our recent research on the lived experience of poverty and social exclusion in Wales highlighted the importance of tackling poverty stigma – both because poverty stigma harms the mental health of people in poverty, and because it can make it harder for them to get the support they need or participate in their communities.

In response and as part of the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) we are supporting public services and policy makers in Wales to understand poverty stigma and how it affects their communities. Our work seeks to identify what public services can do to ensure their services reduce rather than (re)produce poverty stigma. We are working with policy makers and practitioners, academics and researchers, and experts by experience, to bring the full range of expertise to bear on this challenge.

In November 2023 we held an in-person workshop at Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham, which brought together a broad mix of policymakers in local and national government, practitioners, young people, and academic and lived experience experts, from all over Wales and elsewhere in the UK. We followed up the in-person workshop with a second workshop online in early December 2023, attended by a mix of those who had joined us in Wrexham and those who had been unable to attend in person.

The overarching aim of these workshops was to identify what WCPP or others could do next to support public services in Wales to use the best available evidence to tackle poverty stigma more effectively. Following these workshops, we reviewed the ideas that emerged, in collaboration with Swansea Poverty Truth Commission and the APLE Collective.

We have published a series of guest blogs by workshop participants. We have also commissioned a YouGov survey to establish and scale of poverty stigma in Wales in partnership with the Bevan Foundation, due to be published in June along with a response to the survey from Dr Steffan Evans, Bevan Foundation Head of Policy (Poverty).

Building on ideas that emerged from our workshops, we are taking forward two workstreams in the second phase of this project. The first is a place-based project to develop local evidence-based solutions to poverty stigma in partnership with Swansea Council. This will involve bringing together decision-makers and practitioners in public services and the third sector with academics, community groups and people with lived experience of poverty.

We are also in the process of establishing a Poverty Stigma Insight Network to continue to bring together people from across Wales and elsewhere in the UK with interests and expertise in drawing on evidence and insight to tackle poverty stigma.

To hear more about our current work supporting public services to tackle poverty stigma, or if you are a policy maker or practitioner and there is a particular piece of work you have in mind that would be useful, please get in touch with charlotte.morgan@wcpp.org.uk

READ Amanda Hill-Dixon’s piece on this issue in The MJ: Cutting Through The Stigma