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16 January, 2024

J+ Voices: Short Report #5

J+ Voices: Short Report #5

Ever wondered how people who come to your social action projects really feel as they walk through the door?

We all hope we are welcoming, and we work hard to try to remove any shame or embarrassment, but are there ways in which we are unwittingly causing people to feel uncomfortable?

If you want to know what people coming to your projects - or Sunday gatherings - really think, you might be interested in Jubilee+ Voices.

Jubilee+ Voices is an advisory group made up of people living on the lowest incomes.

The purpose of the group is to hear about people’s experiences of church-based social action and regular church activities, so that we can listen, learn and share lessons with churches across the UK.

These voices matter, and our hope is that those who have lived with the impact of poverty will shape our work at Jubilee+ and the work of local churches, so that together we break some barriers and bring change.

Our fifth advisory group recently gathered in Bristol and, at the bottom of this post, you can download a short report summarising their feedback and recommendations.

One of the most moving parts of the day was listening to participants reflect on coping with the initial shock of being plunged into poverty.

In many cases the events which led them to a place of sudden deprivation were completely out of their control.

The sense of powerlessness evoked by the outbreak of war in a home country, or of experiencing violence through being trafficked was only compounded by then being stuck in an asylum system, or in lengthy legal proceedings and being unable to work.

Insights from this diverse group centred on the empowerment that church-based education programs can bring to individuals facing challenges, and the central role empathy, particularly from those in leadership, can play in lifting people out of poverty.

Will you walk in our shoes?

One key insight from the group led to this suggestion (see the report, which expands on this theme):

Suggestion from the day:

Could you spend a week with someone, to get a better understanding of the reality of living with poverty? Could you do a Lent challenge, living on a weekly amount equivalent to income support, donating the rest of your income to a local project or church hardship fund?

For more findings please download the short report below.


Thank you to all of the participants who made this report possible. A more detailed report will be available later in 2024. To find out more about upcoming Jubilee+ Voices sessions, please email Rosie.Hopley@jubilee-plus.org 

16 January, 2024