Liverpool Hope University welcomed leaders from community and third sector organisations across the North West to explore how they can work together to find solutions to the cost-of-living crisis.
Regional experts gathered for the first event from the Poverty Research and Advocacy Network (PRAN), Building Partnerships and Collaborations in a Context of Crisis.
Taking place at the Creative Campus on Wednesday 18 October, the workshop aimed to address the pressing need for effective partnerships during times of immense hardship, with a view to establishing effective, collaborative relationships that will help those most affected by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
The event brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from prominent organisations dedicated to combating poverty and advocating for social change, including the Poverty Truth Network, People's Powerhouse, Liverpool Access to Advice Network, Greater Manchester Poverty Action and GMCVO.
“The Poverty Research and Advocacy Network was set up tackle poverty and inequality at a regional and national level,” explained Lecturer in Sociology, Dr Vicki Dabrowski, who co-founded PRAN with Dr Natalija Atas.
“To do this, it’s vital that organisations committed to creating a more equal society work together to drive change and this event provided us with an opportunity to identify ways in which a broad range of stakeholders can collaborate to support those most in need.
“We will continue to work with organisations in our network to identify how we can best create solutions for those who are struggling as a result of problems caused by poverty.”
PRAN launched in June 2023 with a mission to combat poverty and deprivation by facilitating collaboration between academics and representatives from various councils, NGOs, and charities.
This inaugural event was a signal of the PRAN’s steadfast commitment to making a real impact in the ongoing battle against poverty by working hand in hand with key stakeholders and organisations to drive positive change in our communities.
“It’s a positive step [working collaboratively with the University],” said Ruth Hannan, Director of People’s Powerhouse, who work across the North of England to enable citizens to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives.
“If universities are trying to work in the space of creating change for those who experience the struggles of poverty, there is a challenge to ensure their research can enable those people to make their own lives better.
“[Collaboration] is massive because for a long time we have been pushed to seeing our problems as individuals and we have been divided to be treated as individuals who only focus on ourselves.
“I think people are reaching the point where they realise we have more in common and our challenges have common purpose, so bringing people together to work collaboratively can get more done for progressive purposes.”
To find out more about the Poverty Research and Advocacy Network and to join the network, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.