Every barrier faced by disabled people in Glasgow today is underpinned or exacerbated by poverty and austerity – so say our Drivers for Change network who met yesterday to contribute their voices and lived experience to this year’s #ChallengePovertyWeek.
30 of GDA’s disabled activist network were joined by Co-Chair of the Poverty Leadership Panel, Innocent Jakisa, who underlined the vital role of people with lived experience to inform and drive actions to eradicate poverty.
Yesterday was also #WorldMentalHealthDay2019, and GDA members shared personal examples of poverty and isolation eroding their mental health. A discussion on self-care techniques showed peer support and connections are a vital lifeline. The group called for better access to mental health supports as a much needed anti-poverty investment.
The group looked in detail at some of the anti-poverty initiatives happening around the city and highlighted the need to ensure these are designed with disabled people in mind – “Only by involving us will the City begin to break down barriers and tackle the poverty that lock us out of society.”
Discussing actions to reduce Child Poverty, disabled parents and young people in the group highlighted huge impacts on their lives of poverty, and barriers to work, education, health, social care, housing and other services. The group agreed these voices and experiences will be vital to the reducing Child Poverty in Glasgow.
The group commended Glasgow City Council for responding to the group’s calls for a disabled-people led Welfare Rights project, by investing in GDA’s Rights Now project - increasing incomes of Glasgow’s disabled people by nearly £800,000 in its first year.
To loosen poverty’s grip on our city, we need solutions that work for Glasgow’s 150,000 disabled people: accessible jobs and support services, social care and housing that meet our needs, education and training that we can access to fulfil our potential.
GDA’s 5000+ disabled members have a wealth of expertise they are eager to contribute, to help build solutions that work for everyone. #AyeWeCan