Charity Number: 1197493

East Surrey Poverty Truth Commission

The Poverty Truth Commission is integral to our vision for a poverty-free future

We work alongside people with experience of using our foodbank, helping to raise awareness of the drivers of poverty and ensure that those affected by poverty are central to decisions about how to tackle it.

We set up the East Surrey Poverty Truth Commission (ESPTC) in May 2019, bringing together a group of Community Commissioners who have used the foodbank with a group of Civic & Business Commissions who are senior representatives within local organisations who regularly come into contact with commissioners.

East Surrey Poverty Truth Commission

The Poverty Truth Commission is integral to our vision for a poverty-free future

We work alongside people with experience of using our foodbank, helping to raise awareness of the drivers of poverty and ensure that those affected by poverty are central to decisions about how to tackle it.

We set up the East Surrey Poverty Truth Commission (ESPTC) in May 2019, bringing together a group of Community Commissioners who have used the foodbank with a group of Civic & Business Commissions who are senior representatives within local organisations who regularly come into contact with commissioners.

#WhatDefinesUs

A short film put together for the launch of the East Surrey Poverty Truth Commission in June 2019. Community Commissioners share some of what defines them- not their experience of struggle but their strengths.

Through sharing people’s stories and experiences of poverty over the course of a year or more, members of the ESPTC were able to identify some of the major issues affecting people in poverty and work together to find long-term solutions to these problems.

Following their involvement in the ESPTC, a local housing association changed its whole approach to customer care, after hearing first-hand about the detrimental impact of insensitive letters and phone conversations on people’s mental health. It now works with frontline teams to ensure that its tenants are not hit with unexpected payments and that those who are struggling with rent payments are offered compassion and support.

The Foodbank also established a laptop recycling project to tackle digital exclusion, after hearing a story about children having to do their homework during their lunch break because they didn’t have access to a computer at home. More than 360 laptops have now been delivered to six local schools for distribution to students from low-income families.

Perhaps more importantly than these specific outcomes, ESPTC is designed to shift the culture within the organisations represented on the Commission, so that their policies and practices are sensitive to the needs of people living on a low income and do not inadvertently push people into poverty and destitution.

The journey continues...

Good Company launched the second phase of the East Surrey Poverty Truth Commission in November 2023. The Commission is focusing on building relationships  identifying the key issues arising out of the Community Commissioner’s stories.

It is Good Company’s ambition to strengthen the participation of people with a lived experience of poverty in all our work. We want people of diverse backgrounds and experience of poverty, participating at every level of our organisation. We believe we cannot champion greater justice locally, without embodying the changes we want to see ourselves.