Almost 14 million people are locked in poverty in the UK - that’s over one in five of the population.


We need a new approach to solving poverty. Successive governments have maintained that work is the best route out of poverty - but with 60% of Britons in poverty living in a household where someone is working, it's clear that poverty affects both those in and out of work. It’s also clear that – too often – the benefit system is not providing the support people need, with benefit changes often pushing families further into poverty and making entering work more, rather than less, difficult. 

We have first hand experience of living in poverty and we know that, every day, people across the UK are having to try to find their own solutions to the problems they face. We believe that this experience should be valued as a form of expertise and it should be taken into account when developing measures to tackle poverty. 

We also believe that people who have experienced poverty, benefit changes, and services designed to support transitions into work, should be part of efforts to design policies that will tackle UK poverty effectively - this will help build a great society that works for us all. 

That's why we've decided to work together, to discuss the problems we face every day and to think about possible solutions to some of these issues.

We've already taken our ideas to politicians, policymakers and the media, but now we want to focus attention on making sure that the voices of people in poverty are included in policy and media debates. If you'd like to help us put an end to UK poverty, we'd like to hear from you - contact us here.  

Our experience evidences the need for change. We are using it to promote a new platform for engagement and genuine participation, to help bring about the societal and systemic change that our country needs.
— Dann Kenington, ATD Fourth World

Our journey so far


2016 - 2017

IIn 2016 ATD Fourth World, Dole Animators and Thrive started working with Dan Farley, a designer, and Ruth Patrick, a researcher at the University of York. We ran a series of workshops and worked with Dan to visualise some of the policy changes that we believed could make a lasting difference to the lives of those living in poverty.

Thrive Teesside

Dole Animators

ATD Fourth World


We launched our proposals at a parliamentary event

Alongside the Webb Memorial Trust and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty, we brought people with experience of poverty together with MPs, policymakers, and key figures from the third sector.

“We want people to know why poverty exists. To question why jobs aren’t as secure as they should be, why homes aren’t worth living in and why parents cannot afford to feed their children or even to pay for childcare.
— Sarah Lennon, Thrive


We started working with other groups who want to end UK poverty

We met up with other groups who are working to end UK poverty - including Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Leeds Poverty Truth Commission, Hope Rising Action Group, Salford Poverty Truth Commission and Expert Series to discuss ideas for solving UK poverty and for working together. 

We shared our mission far and wide

We worked with Dan to design an animation that we could share with other organisations and groups to tell them about our story. 

We started to consolidate our thinking around voice

We decided to choose one area to focus on this year. We felt that voice is really important: trying to ensure that the voices of people in poverty are included in policy and media debates, and that these voices are respected and properly heard. 

We are now starting to develop a campaign that will aim to give the collective voice of people who live in poverty a platform to be heard.


We want you to get involved

Find out how you can get involved or support our campaign.