A week-long campaign to tackle poverty and its causes launched yesterday– and the Evening Telegraph is getting behind the cause.
Challenge Poverty Week, organised by the Poverty Alliance, aims to show the reality of poverty in Scotland, challenge stereotypes and offer solutions.
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The initiative is being backed by hundreds of organisations across the country – including Dundee City Council, which is running a series of events designed to give a voice to those in need.
The authority will start the week by highlighting the latest Living Wage employers – including new recruit Tayside Garage Doors Limited.
The company employs four staff and its Living Wage accreditation ensures all staff and regular contract workers earn the voluntary pay rate of £9 an hour.
It is the latest step towards delivering Dundee’s ambition – backed by the Tele’s publishers DC Thomson – of becoming the first Living Wage City in the UK.
Councillor Lynne Short, the council’s spokeswoman for fairness, said: “The Fairer Scotland Duty came into force in April last year.
“Since then public bodies have had a duty to tackle social and economic disadvantages in local areas.
“Examples of actions being taken by Dundee City Council and partners are being highlighted this week in a series of events and, more importantly, they are happening every day in our communities to support those in need.
“It is important to highlight the help out there.
“It is not always simple and we never know when our circumstances might change – as my granny used to say: ‘there but the grace of God go I’.”
Challenge Poverty Week also falls within the Dundee school holidays – and charity Dundee Bairns will deliver food to children who would usually get school meals.
There will also be activities ongoing to keep the children entertained throughout the week.
The council is offering a reduced bus fare to children travelling with an adult farepayer or concession ticket-holder after teaming up with bus operators in the city.
Covering all journeys in the ABC Dundee ticket zone, the scheme is backed by the council, Xplore Dundee, Stagecoach and Moffat and Williamson.
Running throughout the school holidays, the scheme will allow families to enjoy a day out and discover the city by bus, with up to three under-16s per paying adult – including those with season tickets and weekly passes – travelling for 20p each.
The efforts to highlight poverty in Dundee come just months after it was revealed foodbank use in the city had risen by 55% since 2018. One man who sees the hardship poverty brings is Ken Linton, manager of Dundee’s Trussell Trust foodbanks.
He said: “It’s terrible we have foodbanks in this day and age but I am pleased to hear that the council is doing this (tackling poverty) and supporting the campaign.”
- The Tele will be highlighting the issue of poverty in Dundee all this week.