We’re highlighting some of the inspiring Civil Society case studies gathered for our ‘Connecting Cranes with Communities, How can the WMCA Create Inclusive Growth’ report (download here)

LOCATION    
Wolverhampton, but part of a UK wide movement

PROJECT DESCRIPTION   
Wolverhampton Poverty Truth

PROJECT OBJECTIVES 

  • Creating spaces for people to talk about experiences of poverty.
  • Wolverhampton Poverty Truth started with a question: ‘What if people who have directly experienced poverty were involved in making the decisions about how to tackle poverty in Wolverhampton?’
  • Working closely with other Poverty Truth Commissions across the UK, Transforming Communities Together brought together a group of people with experience of poverty and hardship (Grassroots Voices) with some of Wolverhampton’s civic and business leaders – the City Shapers.
  • The Grassroots and City Shaper groups worked TOGETHER to investigate three poverty topics in detail and worked TOGETHER to form solutions, which they presented at our Showcase Event in June 2018.

KEY PARTNERS       
Wolverhampton Residents, City of Wolverhampton Council, University of Wolverhampton, Citizens Advice Wolverhampton, Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Diocese of Lichfield, Wolverhampton College, First City, Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council, Revolver Coffee, Refugee Migrant Centre.

WHAT LESSONS LEARNT HAVE INFORMED THIS PROJECT  
Many, but the outstanding one is that people with direct experience must be involved in the solutions – “Nothing about us, without us, is for us”.

RESULTS   
Ongoing. City of Wolverhampton Council in particular, have started to build on the recommendations in the report – https://www.wolvespovertytruth.org/showcase

IMPACTS
City of Wolverhampton Council recently signed up to the Time to Change Mental Health Pledge saying:

“The signing of the pledge by the council was a key recommendation of the Wolverhampton Poverty Truth Commission, a grassroots movement working with civic and business leaders to improve the lives of others”.

http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/article/13596/Council-takes-pledge-to-end-mental-health-discrimination

WHAT WENT WELL 
Feedback from participants was very positive e.g. “Wolverhampton Poverty Truth has been a genuinely inspirational project bringing local residents and service users together with decision makers to try and change the way we support those who are facing the awful issues surrounding poverty.” Corin Crane – CEO of Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

WHAT NEEDED TO BE IMPROVED
Communication and involvement of more residents.

WHAT COULD BE DONE DIFFERENTLY 
As above.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO OTHERS DOING SIMILAR PROJECTS
Vital to move slowly and build relationships.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE PROJECTS
People with direct experience of poverty must be involved in the solutions.