How we tackle poverty

How we tackle poverty

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

(Turning to One Another – Margaret Wheatley)

TOGETHER Newcastle recognises that some individuals and communities are under extreme pressure due, in part, to the current economic climate.  We recognise that poverty will look and feel different depending on the situation/location, especially in a Diocese where we have a mix of rural, urban and coastal communities.  However, we believe we can build on existing assets and strategies used by communities and people living in poverty to support themselves.  TOGETHER we can identify what needs to change so that their lives become more secure and communities become more sustainable.

Many church leaders, community and youth workers are already transforming lives and can feel isolated, overwhelmed and exhausted by the challenges they confront; we want to work alongside and support this work and work TOGETHER to:

  • Enable local churches, Christian organisations and community projects to tackle poverty more effectively by working more closely with each other
  • Make the response of churches of all denominations within the Diocese sustainable for the long term, by being better resourced and supported
  • Build a national network of churches and Christians who are tackling poverty TOGETHER in order to give a voice to concerns and profile their work.

What we have been doing

So far we have worked alongside a number of church and community groups to help set up activities that are tackling local poverty issues, including:

  • Facilitating a drop-in for local people in the East end of Newcastle.
  • Developing ‘Hot Chocolate’ youth projects.
  • Offering advice and guidance about funding applications.
  • Supporting the development of local food banks.
  • Helping with ideas and planning and finding other people to work with.
  • Working with local churches to employ a worker to inspire an urban reading and understanding of the Bible.
  • Leading discussions with churches about how they can use their premises for the benefit of the community.
  • Participating in consultation sessions between Church Leaders and Newcastle City Council about funding cuts and their likely impact across the city.
  • Developing ideas to increase access to the internet.
  • Offering training for volunteers to provide information about money management.

Some comments from people we have worked with

“I think if we didn’t have Together Newcastle as a resource, I wouldn’t know where to go and I wouldn’t know who to talk to and wouldn’t know what support to get. Together Newcastle talks the same language that we do and understands things and the dynamics we are involved in here.”

“I don’t really know where I would have begun without Together Newcastle."