Friday, 4 December 2015
Poverty is about much more than a lack of money. A year of hostels, sanctions and lack of heating can take its toll. One of our Commissioners writes:
"After an amazing year in 2014, 2015 has been a bad year. People don't always know how deep depression and mental health can take a hold on you. 2015 has been a year from hell.
My mind drifted from reality, I even didn't know what was real and what wasn't. There were days I wished I wouldn't wake up. That's what people don't understand.
I was a strong person before and felt I could take on the world. Now I've been reduced to a wreck. I was so close to self harming to get an escape from the pain I was going through. My mind was full of negative thoughts, I was on the point of a nervous breakdown. I can understand now that I wasn't well. I understand my illness a bit better now. I've still got a lot to learn though.
Even strong people can crash and burn at times. It's how you bounce back.
Thanks for listening to my story, I hope it can help someone out there. If you're struggling, don't lock yourself away at home. Find people. Talk to people.
Tuesday, 6 October 2015
Monday, 14 September 2015
Thursday, 21 May 2015
Wednesday, 29 April 2015
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
This conference took place in the iconic Pearce Institute in Govan, Glasgow. It was organised by the Church of Scotland, Faith in Community Scotland and the Centre for Human Ecology. They brought together a large number and wide range of people united in their desire to ensure Scotland can change from a situation in which real hunger is suffered, to a situation in which everybody has access to sufficient, nutritious food.
Another food bank user reported her experience of having no employment and her benefit being reduced to just £57 a week while her Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was reviewed. At this time, after all her bills were paid, she was left with only £7 per week to feed her family of three; she could not do it on such a small amount of money and had to accept referral to a food bank. She said, "I was very reluctant to use the food bank. I would rather have gone without food than use one, but I had to think of my family. I felt ashamed and very upset that my financial situation had sunk so low. I was very depressed which had a big impact on both my physical and mental health."
However as one person commented the real shame is the UK's for creating the economic and social conditions conditions in which food banks flourish; those who use food banks have nothing to be ashamed of.
It was a stimulating day indeed that got participants thinking and more importantly committing to ideas and actions to combat food poverty and to stop food banks being accepted as part and parcel of the welfare system. Different ways of fighting food poverty were explored. For example, participants heard about the experience of food co-ops in North Lanarkshire and a prospective community food centre in Ruchazie. Using a variety of such approaches and others, for instance, campaigning work around the General Election, could enable the growth of this emerging food justice movement. Beyond Food Banks successfully marked the beginning and definitely not the end of this process. As a demonstration of this a follow up event will look at concrete actions or pilot projects etc., so please keep a look out for details.
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
I feel trapped because I’m living in a hostel, and if I took a job and lost my Housing Benefit, I wouldn’t be able to pay the hostel. It would be too hard. But they don’t listen to me at the Job Centre, I’m just another number. I really want to work, but I don’t know how, and it feels like they’re choking to sanction me.