by Mike Edwards
What is Poverty? Poverty a word in constant use, yet meaning so much but used in to describe just one aspect of the issue.
For a majority of people, poverty is the absense of money, yet this is but one part of a complex and far reaching social problem.
Housing poverty is very a growing concern, not just home reposession, but the growing numbers of those who cannot afford private rented accomodation, or the families crammed into substandard and cramped conditions.
Heating poverty, now facing many, not just the unemployed, but the working poor, the elderly who again this year may skip meals to have heat!, the parents who sit in coats, only lighting the fire when the children are home.
Clothing poverty of children going to school in inadequate coats or shoes, the elderly sitting in coats and blankets.
Social poverty, elderly, infirm or sick people, living in estates with a sense of loneliness, behind windows and curtains, afraid of the outside world, single parents isolated by a system of high cost child care and social welfare rules.
Yet many of these types of poverty are battled daily by charities and voluntary groups, through donations and sponsorship they fight the never ending economic poverty issues of our society.
Social poverty however is something we all have a part to play in eradicating, through community participation this can be a thing if the past, our elderly have a rich and diverse social history which can be passed on through talking and social museum projects, lone parent clubs, coffee mornings and toddler groups do more than end isolation, they enable the socialisation of the parent and the child.
But the biggest issue of social poverty is fear, fear of being alone, fear of the outside, the hooded youths or the gang on the corner, they may be quiet and good natured but for some they instill a fear and a dread hard to overcome, social wareness and social inclusion for all is the tool used to repair this fear, but it takes a community to make this tool, and the community starts with you!
What will you do today ?