The Big Lunch 28th October 2022
A really big thank you to everyone who made it along to our Big Lunch last week. It was heartening to see so many people who care so much about poverty and the cost-of-living crisis, and who want to do something about it. In 2019 PKC reported that 5,155 children were living in poverty in this area – over 20% of families. These numbers will not have improved in the intervening years.
Everyone who attended witnessed the enthusiasm and willing atmosphere in the room. We are determined to continue this momentum, to build collaboration across every sector of the local community, especially in how businesses can engage better and how every one of us can do more.
There is a balance to be struck, between the immediate – helping people survive the winter months and cost-of-living crisis, and the longer term – tackling the root causes of poverty in this area. The Perth City Leadership Forum (PCLF) is aiming to help by matching local needs with potential providers, focusing on:
- supporting communities to create and implement locally led solutions and build pressure for bigger change
- working with national and local leaders to set a clear vision and co-ordinate efforts across sectors.
- encouraging ‘anchors’ – the big employers and spenders – to use their purchasing power and networks to connect local businesses and neighbourhoods, and big businesses and investors, to help to rebalance the economy.
There are so many ways people can help: giving time; helping with training; offering expertise; providing premises, or freezers and equipment; offering buying power, networks and co-ordination; donating food or money; more social housing; developing energy solutions, or insulation solutions; providing well paid jobs and employment security; helping to cover third sector costs; providing warm spaces; becoming a trustee or offering finance skills; or simply having the time and enthusiasm to help. If there is a time to step up and help, and a time to be ambitious in tackling this issue, this is it.
There were a lot of positive signals on the day, on top of a food donation from Stagecoach. We are determined to lever more money into this sector to support the many frontline charities present.
- Businesses and organisations exchanged details and are beginning new relationships which we hope will become fruitful over time – please keep us up to date.
- Direct pledges and intimations of support were received from those attending:
- more than 20 offers of staff or individual support
- 15 offers of money
- a dozen offers of shared expertise
- 5 potential trustees of front-line charities
- 4 offers of help with premises
- a dozen offers to help raise awareness
- a range of other offers of assistance with logistics, guidance, signposting, mapping, tech, equipment, and transport.
We will be following up on these over the coming days and weeks. Please contact us if you can offer more.
There is a great deal to do and there is no question this winter is going to be tough, but we hope this is the start of a process which can grow and grow over the next weeks and months. Along with around 100 people who attended the event we have also had many others offering pledges of support and asking to be kept involved. At the event there was a unanimous desire to convene again so we will let you know when we have a date for this – please do come along if you can and help us ensure this is only a start.
Once again thank you for getting involved.
Mike Robinson, Chair, Perth City Leadership Forum