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Anti Poverty Week at UnitingCare West

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Anti-Poverty Week is a week where all Australians are encouraged to organise or take part in an activity aiming to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas. 

It was established in Australia as an expansion of the UN's annual International Anti-Poverty Day on October 17.  In 2016 Anti-Poverty Week will be held from the 16th to the 22nd of October. 

During the week, UnitingCare West will be involved in a number of activities to raise awareness of poverty in our community.  These include:

- Staff from our Emergency Relief and Financial Counselling services attending the WA Financial Counselling Conference, run by the Financial Counsellors’ Association of WA during the week.

- Staff from across our services will be taking part in the Anti-Poverty Week Football Cup, once again hosted by The Big Issue.

- Staff and volunteers from our Food Rescue Cargo Cart program will be distributing Anti-Poverty Week stickers and materials to all of the cafes, supermarkets and agencies they work with as part of their Cargo Cart rounds in the Perth CBD during the week.

iStock 000013843588MediumThrough a review of UnitingCare West services and data, as well as direct engagement with clients, it is clear that the vast majority of those most in need are facing economic disadvantage. Perhaps most alarming though is the significant number of UnitingCare West clients facing extreme levels of financial stress. The current housing affordability crisis, high cost of utilities and the relatively low levels of welfare support are all combining to create a situation in which these vulnerable individuals and households are no longer able to make ends meet. 

Further, those individuals and households with a disability or mental illness, limited literacy and numeracy skills, cultural barriers and those that are unemployed face compounded disadvantage leading to increased poverty and challenges. 

Having this knowledge and building our understanding of the factors that influence poverty is critical to ensuring that the services offered through UnitingCare West genuinely address disadvantage as well as leveraging the strengths and skills of clients.  You can read more about this review, carried out in 2014, at http://www.unitingcarewest.org.au/assets/Brochures/Most-in-Need-Research-Report.pdf 

UnitingCare West runs a range of programs on an ongoing basis that seek to support people experiencing poverty in WA.  These include: 

Poverty and severe hardship affect more than a million Australians. Around the world, more than a billion people are desperately poor.  During Anti-Poverty Week, YOU can help fight poverty and hardship. 

The main aims of Anti-Poverty Week are to: 

  • Strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship around the world and in Australia.
  • Encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems, including action by individuals, communities, organisations and governments.
  • Everyone is encouraged to help reduce poverty and hardship by organising an activity during the Week or taking part in an activity organised by others. 

Thank you for your interest and support of Anti-Poverty Week 2016.