Peterborough’s Poverty Truth Commission, facilitated by PCVS, is about to blast off!
Our official Peterborough Poverty Truth Commission launch is scheduled for the 23rd of November, but before that, we wanted to make sure we’d done a practise run and helped our empowerers be as confident and... empowered, as possible, to tell their stories.
Then the community at St. Marks Church on Lincoln Road told us how disappointed they were that they couldn’t make the date of our full launch, so we decided to have our rehearsal there and open it up to the people who come to their Tea for Free. In the end we had over 50 people attending.
There were a few nerves, but it all came together beautifully.
Our opening theme was what is poverty? Our interactive elements (with a lot of hard work from our colleague John and our tech Chris) worked perfectly and gave everyone in the room a chance to have a contribution.
We introduced the empowerers and they all had a chance to stand up and tell the room what poverty is to them, before we moved on to individual stories.
They showed videos, read statements, recited poems, and we even had a song; a real mix of different experiences and ways to express them. The energy was so generous and positive, exactly what a Poverty Truth Commission is about. I’ve never felt anything quite like it. There were lots of tears and as much laughter; just a real moment of us being together and sharing something.
At the end Femi said a few very inspirational words about holding on to the humanity in yourself and in others, about how behind every poverty statistic there are real people with real names and real stories, and that we should never forget that.
Our boss, Gill, has been referring to this event as The People’s Launch, and that’s what it felt like.
All we have to do is do it again on the 23rd! I’ve tried not to spoil too much, if you’re lucky enough to have an invite I’ll see you at Kingsgate.
Thank you to Chris Pallister for dealing with the tech side, all our wonderful colleagues at PCVS for helping with signing people in, food, and the interactive elements, and for helping us get to this point, Clare Roberts, our Poverty Truth Network mentor for being there to support us all, Kip Loades and Julian Peters for the incredible films and the moral support, Roger Kaye for his beautiful song, and Femi and everyone else in the community at St. Marks that have been so welcoming and helped make this work possible.
This article was written by James Farson, PCVS Poverty Truth Commission (PTC) Community Facilitator. You can email James for more information on Peterborough's PTC at the address: email@example.com