Conference to tackle issue of poverty ‘The Struggle is Real: Living on the Poverty Line – a Call to action’

18th February 2020

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Experts and organisations from across Northern Ireland will join forces at a major conference organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in association with Fermanagh and Omagh Community Planning Partnership in Omagh on Monday 24 February 2020. 

The free one day conference – ‘The Struggle is Real: Living on the Poverty Line – a call to action’ will take place in Strule Arts Centre, Omagh and will examine the issue of Poverty in Northern Ireland and look at ways to alleviate its impact on local communities. 

The event will also include details of two poverty-themed initiatives taken forward by Fermanagh and Omagh Community Planning Partnership.

The projects will improve free access to healthy meals and snacks in participating schools within the Fermanagh and Omagh district, as well as grant support for development of enhanced services through the foodbank model, enabling local providers to move towards a ‘Social Supermarket’ model of provision.

Speaking about the conference, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie, said that poverty has a significant detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of those who are affected.

“The reality of poverty is that we live in an environment where tens of thousands of people in the North, many of whom are working families, are struggling to make ends meet.   

“This conference will address the real question of what it will take to solve our poverty crisis. The focus will be on how government departments, businesses and employers, service providers and elected representatives can work together to help inform and direct policy and action to help those most in need”, she added. 

The conference will bring together people from the statutory, community and voluntary sectors and elected representatives to identify ways to work together to tackle poverty and its impact on communities at a local level through learning from research and evidence of good practice. The conference is aiming to be solution based and evidence driven. 

Keynote speakers confirmed for the event include Kevin Higgins, Advice Services NI; Paul Armstrong, Trussel Trust NI; Avril Hiles, Department for Communities; Alison Chambers, Department of Education; Natasha McClelland, PhD Researcher in Rural Food Poverty, Ulster University; Lauri McCusker, Fermanagh Trust and Dr Sinead Furey, Ulster University as well as speakers from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Fermanagh and Omagh Community Planning Partnership.

Video recordings of key speaker contributions will be hosted on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s website following the event.
For further information or for groups or organisations wishing to register a representative to attend, please visit Fermanagh and Omagh District Council website on or telephone the Council’s Community Planning team on 0300 303 1777, text phone 028 8225 6216.