We see a variety of charities working across housing, migration, refugees, poverty, disability and other sectors, which are very often small grass roots organisations dealing with the human consequences of people living in destitution. Destitution is often enforced and can be avoided by explicit policy or practice change.
These charities know all too well the impact of destitution but very often lack the capacity and resource to be able to use this knowledge to influence our politicians in a sustainable way to ensure that people are not left destitute.
We see a need for an independent, committed and skilled resource to give extra capacity to these organisations to ensure that their voices are heard and that skills and knowledge are harnessed for maximum impact. Existing influencing work is often fragmented and not strategic – ending destitution is then seen as just too difficult and too political to change.
This will not be a new organisation. We have an aversion to new organisations having seen too many be set up in the past that sought to down play and then compete with existing organisations. We will be an independent project and not an organisation. And we will look for a potential host organisation supportive of our mission to tackle destitution across different sectors in the country.
We see ourselves as a flexible campaigning catalyst: a not for profit campaigning agency using the skills and experience of its associates to end destitution and build campaigning capacity of our partners. We will not want to have full-time salary dependent staff. We do not want to create a bureaucracy. Our people will work on a freelance or pro-bono basis. Their common motivation will be their desire to end destitution.
We want to build a flexible team of committed and talented people, with a flexible commitment of time, not expecting to be full-time but working as needed with the right skill mix and with an ability to make things happen. We will look to harness the talent available from people with proven commitment on this issue both working freelance and those in employment, and we will give them a home and direction for their commitment and their skills.
We will create a space where new and innovative methods of campaigning can be explored to end specific policies and practice enforcing destitution.
And we will have a committed advisory group of people, who are themselves working to tackle destitution across the UK, to ensure that we are responding to the greatest humanitarian need.