Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ By World
What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
We deal with the causes of poverty by helping transform poor people’s lives as well as tackling issues of human exploitation, the absence of human and social capital and the current political and economic structures. Our work is based in Greater Govan where, in common with most deprived urban communities, the move away from localism has delivered a lack of meaningful employment and consequent erosion of the human spirit, leading to drugs and alcohol misuse. Health issues are symptomatic of people’s experience of daily life in Greater Govan, where physical and mental health are patently significant issues in the area.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
There are at least 25 data zones within the Greater Govan area in the ‘bottom 15%’ on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2009 and over half of residents within Scotland’s worst 15% datazones. The largest group of benefit claimants are people claiming health-related benefits: Incapacity Benefit (IB) now replaced by Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). A third of residents in the Greater Govan area are ‘workless’ which includes people who are not in work, and is a combined count of people claiming JSA, IS and IB. 54.7% of total benefits claimants in Greater Govan are mental health IB claimants.
What is your solution?
Our model works to understand and address both the issues of poverty and the underlying factors that have perpetuated it. As well as the 8 week ‘Getting Ahead investigations’ with people in poverty, we offer them ongoing support for 24 months. We also deliver 3 day Bridges workshops with staff that work with people in poverty so they can innovatively work ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with people in poverty. Once individuals and institutions have investigated the Bridges out of Poverty/Getting Ahead concepts they form an alliance, speaking a similar language around how to address the causes of poverty.
How will you deliver this?
We facilitate a process which helps those that have spent their life struggling to get by in the world, for whom the idea of actually getting ahead seems out of reach, by offering them the opportunity to change their lives. People in poverty investigate their situation and develop 1 or more of the 11 resources (e.g. financial, emotional, support systems) needed to get ahead and out of poverty. People in poverty decide which resources they would like to develop. They then create their own future story and plan with us to make their own future stories a reality.