Stigma Campaign Project

STAR Project are delighted to partner with Renfrewshire Council to deliver their innovative Stigma Campaign. The development of this training follows on from the Tackling Poverty Commission report, and forms part of the Strategy and Action Plan of the same name. The Tackling Poverty team have been exploring ways to address awareness raising among staff at Renfrewshire Council about barriers, perceived and real, faced by service users experiencing poverty. This forms part of a wider effort to initiate and deliver social change in direct relation to Renfrewshire’s Community Plan.

The Tackling Poverty Commission report highlighted challenges and experiences faced by members of the public who are experiencing poverty, are from a wide range of backgrounds and are using a wide range of services. Tackling Poverty team, Renfrewshire Council and STAR Project decided to offer stigma reduction training to public facing staff simply because they are the “face of the organisation” and not because the Commission Report showed the area to be of the greatest concern.
Of the 6 Priorities laid out in the Strategy, STAR Project pulled forward some key areas that this training would address:
  1. Income and employment
    Increase the number of households who can access employment that provides an acceptable standard of living.
  2. Managing money
    Prevent financial crisis and support low income families to make the most of their money.
  3. Health
    Improve levels of physical and mental health of children in low income families.
  4. Attainment
    Close the educational attainment gap between children from low-income families and their better off peers.
  5. Neighbourhoods
    Create neighbourhoods where people want to live and can afford to live.
  6. How organisations should work
    Narrow inequalities by working in a way which is inclusive, effective and evidence-based.
Integral to this aspiration is the need to maximise resources and get services right for the people who use them, irrespective of their circumstance. Our interpretation of this is to ensure what is being offered as service is accessible, good quality and does what it needs to do for those who engage, for those who deliver and for the organisation. We are acutely aware that the most important part of service provision is the interaction, making successful outcomes most likely experientially and in terms of completing tasks at hand.

STAR Project does not discuss poverty in a tourist style, with shopping trolleys and pictures of broken windows and half derelict streets. We stress that poverty is a societal concern and not a “them and us” approach and all our discussions around stigma explore this concept. In short, we will not sensationalise poverty, more aim to recognise the causes, consequences and solutions.

Renfrwshire Council sign the Stick Your Labels pledge. With Peter Kelly (Poverty Alliance), Emma Richardson (Head of Programmes STAR Project), Sharon McAulay (Project Manager STAR Project), Cllr Mike Holmes (previous Deputy Leader Renfrewshire Council)

Updated: July 4, 2017