May you be blessed with all of the joys of Easter.
Poverty a key priority for people in Scotland
A new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, published on Thursday 11 March, finds that people in Scotland think tackling poverty is a key priority for the next Scottish Government, and that it's possible to significantly reduce levels in Scotland.
Ahead of the Scottish election and as we approach this year’s General Assembly, it is a timely reminder of the priority that the Church has given to tackling poverty.
Key findings from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report:
Nearly three-quarters of adults in Scotland see poverty as a high priority for the next Scottish Government.
In all groups, regardless of age or politics, a majority of adults in Scotland believe poverty could be significantly reduced; suggesting a nationwide consensus that with the right action, we can ensure no-one in Scotland suffers the injustice of poverty.
However, a majority feel that this is only possible with changes to our current services and the economy, and that the Scottish Government can and should do more.
To seize on this public appetite, all parties in the forthcoming election need to make bold commitments to significantly reduce poverty through making housing more affordable, driving down in-work poverty, and continuing to improve the social security system.
A message from Martin Bethell, Community Money Advice Scotland
I work for a Christian Charity called Community Money Advice and we are reaching out to churches who are looking to get more involved in their community to meet an area of 'high need'.
Right now, people in our communities have been having a difficult time due to Covid-19:
60% of people think that they will need to borrow more money to get through lockdown
59% of people have seen their income decrease or disappear
1 in 10 homes are affected by problem debts
Debt often leads to all sorts of issues in people's lives: fear, shame, guilt, relationship breakdown, addiction, and mental health issues to name but a few.
A ministry in debt advice can help lift that burden and will allow you to likely reach more people from every walk of life in your community than any other compassion ministry.
At Community Money Advice we can help you access this ministry and we would love to talk to you about this. We will be running a free webinar on Wednesday 21 April at 10:30am, so you or any of your fellow ministers or church leaders would be welcome to attend.
If you feel this is something that you would like to explore, please do get in touch with me using the link below.
Our colleagues in the Faith Impact Forum are putting together a briefing on adult social care, responding to the new Independent Review, which will probably lead to legislative change and possibly the start of a new National Care Service.
There’s not much in the review about the community-based, informal care services and activities which support people to stay in the community, reduce isolation and enable people to live life as fully as possible. As we know, they are often precariously funded, volunteer-led, and are not part of the formal social care services.
Clare Fenley from the Faith Impact Forum is keen to talk to some church-based groups who run these sorts of activities to hear their views and how changes in the social care system could support the work and the interaction with social services.