Posted on 6 October 2022
The ‘Changing Realities’ project follows-on from the team’s work on Covid Realities, where more than 100 parents and carers from across the UK worked in partnership with researchers and the Child Poverty Action group, sharing experiences and developing a road map for changes to social security.
The Changing Realities team is now looking for parents and carers on a low-income to get involved in the new project, which involves keeping online diaries, taking part in discussion groups, and having opportunities to learn new skills, such as how to communicate with the media and campaigning for change.
Caroline Rice, a participant in Changing Realities, said: “What I hope to achieve through Changing Realities is that I can ‘change my own reality’, improve my learning and experience and then share my knowledge to motivate others to use their voice in the best way they can.”
The aim of the research, funded by the abrdn Financial Fairness Trust, is to document the everyday struggles faced by families on low-income and give parents and carers the opportunity to develop recommendations of what needs to change and why.
Parents and carers will work in partnership with the research team on influencing policy makers and broader debates about poverty and social security.
Dr Ruth Patrick, who leads the research programme from the University of York’s Social Policy & Social Work said: "Families living on a low-income face a climate of everyday crisis, with their budgets stretched beyond breaking point. Through Changing Realities, we hope to work in partnership with parents and carers on a low-income to both document everyday experiences, but also to push for much needed change.
“It is vital that the expertise that comes with experiences of poverty and social security receipt is both recognised and acted upon. This is needed now more than ever, against a context in which policymakers are inflicting significant and lasting harm on families in poverty.
“We want to challenge this through Changing Realities, which places parents on a low-income at the centre of campaigning for change.”
For more information about how to get involved in the study, a collaboration between parents and carers, the University of York and the Child Poverty Action Group, visit the Changing Realities website.
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