ATD Fourth World UK report: Understanding poverty in all its forms

“Poverty in the United Kingdom today is still experienced as a lack of material resources and opportunities and that it is also experienced as a stigmatising label that blights lives”.

This is according to an October 2019 report from ATD Fourth World on understanding the multi-dimensions of poverty while centring the voices of people with lived experiences of poverty.

The report finds:

  • Participants often viewed the systems, structure and policies on poverty as disempowering and dehumanising. They emphasise the need for empathic policies and structures as a top priority in ending poverty in the UK.
  • Although the absence of money is a key part of what poverty is, participants point to inadequate financial resources as a cause of poverty that takes away control and shorten lives.
  • The stigmatisation and negative judgement of people living in poverty can exacerbate poverty.
  • People living poverty may exclude themselves to minimise the shame put onto them, which can result in their disenfranchisement, thus exacerbating poverty. Consequently, the social impacts of poverty often exacerbate negative mental and emotional health.

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