Saturday, 13 July 2013

‘A series of doors’: young people talking about the experience of poverty Some months ago I mentioned a piece of work in which I designed and co-facilitated a consultative event with children and young people in poverty. The recruitment was intricate but it paid off: the participants were thoughtful, articulate, provocative and insightful. My colleagues and I at Breslin Public Policy made a commitment to help get their views into the public domain, and we have now done so: today we published a paper called A Series of Doors: young people talking about their experience of poverty. The title is distinctive. It comes from a telling remark made by one of the young participants, who observed that: ‘The more problems people have, the less likely they are to be supported out of poverty. It is like a series of doors. One door is being poor, another door is being autistic, another door is being a young carer, another door is living in a bad area… The more doors there are, the more keys are needed to open them and people don’t care enough to make the effort to open them all.’ I urge you to read and reflect on the paper, to circulate it widely, and to let us have your thoughts. The energy and honesty of these young people deserves close and sincere support from all who have the power to help make a difference to their lives, and the lives of others like them. We hope to launch the document with an event and hard copies available, in the autumn: please get in touch if you’d like to be involved. We’d particularly like to hear if you think you can sponsor the travel of one or more of the young people to such an event: it’s their voices that matter most. Please consider it.

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