Navigating the storm: charting a course to solve child poverty in Scotland

Zoom webinar
Monday 05 October 2020 -
10:00 to 12:00

Before the pandemic and the economic storm, it has unleashed, Scotland was already treading water on child poverty. The withdrawal of lifelines like job protection support is likely to pull low-income families further into poverty. Three years from next spring, interim child poverty targets are due to be met. How can Scotland chart a course to reduce poverty – especially for families with children – in the first part of the new parliament?

This webinar marked the start of Challenge Poverty Week, when JRF published its independent, state-of-the-nation report, Poverty in Scotland 2020. This shows the forces that have been driving poverty both before and during the pandemic. We have worked alongside citizens from Glasgow, Ayrshire, Shetland and Fife with direct experience of life on a low income in developing this year’s report, to help understand the impact of COVID-19 ‘as it happened’ and to help shape the policy directions we need to follow. 

To get on course by spring 2024, Scotland’s recovery will need to prioritise people who have been caught up in waves of poverty before and during COVID-19. We can reshape our economy, housing and social security systems to work better for all of us – but it will take bold action and commitment from employers, housing and public service providers, governments and communities themselves to make it happen.

Webinar speakers were

  • Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Scottish Government (Keynote)

Kate is the Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for the constituency of Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, she has held the seat since 2016. Since 17 February 2020, Forbes has served as the Cabinet Secretary for Finance in the Scottish Government.

Susan is Executive Director of Homes for Good Social Business Group. An experienced property developer, she has combined these skills with her commitment to improving people’s lives to create Scotland’s first social enterprise letting agency and social landlord in the private rented sector.

From 1994-2012 she created and grew Impact Arts, now a leading Scottish charity. Since 2014 she has raised over £12 million in social investment for Homes for Good, which was named Social Enterprise of the Year 2016 in the Scottish Business and Social Enterprise Scotland Awards.

  • Tressa Burke, Chief Executive Officer, Glasgow Disability Alliance

One of Glasgow Disability Alliance’s (GDA) founder members, Tressa has been GDA CEO since 2006, steering GDA from its fledgling vision of supporting disabled people’s voices and tackling social isolation in 2001, to the multi-award-winning community of 5000+ it is today. Tressa has held senior leadership roles in third and public sector organisations over 25 years, developing people led programmes which build on disabled people’s strengths and increase capacity to participate and contribute to their own lives, communities and wider society.

A disabled person herself, Tressa has expertise and insights in equalities issues, particularly disability equality as well as the cumulative impact of multiple discrimination e.g. disabled women and disabled LGBT people.

  • Anthony Burns, Chief Operating Officer, Advanced Clothing Solutions

Anthony is chief operating officer for ACS clothing, a living wage employer. He is a recognised champion of sustainable fashion and has developed a global centre of expertise in the servitisation of rented garments. He is an Engineering Graduate with a Masters in Logistics and an MBA. He is dedicated to both his, and his team’s continuous professional development.

Anthony’s mission is to improve the sustainability of the fashion industry, and be more socially accountable, while accelerating maintainable increases in the company’s profitability.

  • Deborah Hay, Scotland Policy & Partnerships Manager (Housing), Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Deborah is one of the Policy and Partnerships Managers in Scotland, where she leads our work in housing and homelessness. She is responsible for developing credible solutions to poverty alongside people with direct experience of living on a low income, and allies in the third, public and private sector.

She is developing work to ensure that the voices, experience and insight of low-income tenants and homeowners help shape Scotland’s recovery. JRF are proud to have joined the the Everyone Home collective, a group of more than 30 organisations working to ensure there is no return to the levels of rough sleeping seen before the pandemic and no evictions into homelessness.

  • Viana Maya, Founder and Talent Development Coach, pRESPECT

Viana is the founder and talent development coach at pRESPECT whose mission is to provide career coaching services for underrepresented talented people in Scotland to access meaningful employment. Viana is also a project lead at AAI, a UX designer and a social project creator. In 2020 Viana was awarded a Bright Red Triangle Active Citizen Award.

Jim is chair of the independent Disability and Carers Benefits advisory group reporting to the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security in the Scottish Government. He is member of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) advising the UK Department for Work and Pensions and is an advisory board member of Business in the Community Scotland.

He has taken part in fairness/anti-poverty commissions in Renfrewshire, Fife and Perth & Kinross. In 2018 he is a Churchill Fellow looking at the impact of mentoring programmes for young people facing disadvantage in the USA, Canada and New Zealand.

Previously he ran the Scottish Council Foundation think-tank.

Paul is the first Editor to manage The Big Issue across all national and regional editions as well as online. A regular media commentator, Paul has been named Editor of the Year three times by PPA Scotland and was named British Editor of The Year in 2013 and 2016 by the BSME (British Society of Magazine Editors).

You can view the full virtual zoom webinar here

If you would like to know more about the JRF supporting the Challenge Poverty Week, please email [email protected] for more information.