This past year saw the incoming of a perfect storm, causing extreme hardship for those already experiencing poverty and social exclusion in NI. The economic fallout from the world-wide pandemic has seen an almost unprecedented rise in fuel prices and correspondingly on fuel poverty. The cost of living crisis and severe hardship is being experienced at a time when the public sector and the social security safety net has been severely underfunded for decades and has reached a breaking point.
In this challenging economic climate, it was therefore very welcome when Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust provided NIAPN with a two-year funding package. This enabled us to recruit Rebecca Bor as our new Development Co-Ordinator. Becca joins us with a wealth of community development experience. With a worker on board, the Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Network relaunched itself at the tail-end of 2022.
The NIAPN board agreed, in response to needs identified within their own organisations, it is a vital moment to revive the network. NIAPN continues to build its membership. Currently, around 40 organizations have re-joined or joined for the first time NIAPN. This network includes small grassroots organizations, larger charities, unions and other third sector organizations. Meeting and engaging with these organizations have led to discussions around building campaigns or supporting different initiatives -many led by people experiencing poverty themselves – to resist the onslaught of cuts and austerity measures that are leaving more people in poverty.
NIAPN participates on the working group of the Cliff Edge Coalition, the Equality Coalition, the Women’s Policy Group and the Fuel Poverty Coalition. Through these coalitions, NIAPN is working collectively on a few different events and campaigns.
NIAPN is welcoming new member organisations, rebuilding its contact list and continuing to work in collaboration with others campaigning for the reforms that will improve the lives of those experiencing poverty.
Together we can organise, lobby and campaign for the structural changes that are necessary to eradicate poverty. Get involved today!