Blog July 2023

Guest Blog: Alyson Laird

Alyson Laird is the Campaigns Officer for The Poverty Alliance and has a key role in coordinating and delivering #ChallengePoverty Week. In this blog, Alyson talks about how you can get involved in Challenge Poverty Week 2023, which will take place between the 2nd and 8th of October.   

It is completely unjust that people are experiencing poverty in a wealthy country like Scotland. But we know a Scotland free from poverty is possible.  

Challenge Poverty Week is a point in the year where organisations across the whole of Scotland, representing different sectors and parts of society, come together to raise their voices collectively to highlight the injustice of poverty in Scotland.   
The week represents an opportunity to showcase work that has been done throughout the year to tackle poverty, both locally and nationally, while also calling for system change to address the root causes of poverty. It is a key date in the calendar for everyone contributing to the anti-poverty movement.  

Challenge Poverty Week began in 2013, and has grown bigger each year, with more and more organisations participating. Last year, around 400 organisations took part, including grassroots community groups; faith groups; elected members; large National NGOs; and a range of voluntary organisations. This year, the week will take place between Monday 2nd October to Sunday 8th October. 

We have daily themes throughout the week to help you structure your engagement. This year there will also be five accompanying policy asks – keep an eye out for those being announced in the coming weeks! You don’t have to use the themes or the policy asks, but our evaluation shows that many organizations find them helpful. This year’s themes are: 

There are a range of ways for you to get involved in the week. Every year, organisations highlight the work of their organisation; host events such as webinars and conferences; share information on social media; engage with their elected representatives; and launch new policies and initiatives. 

Getting Involved is easy 

You can find a range of resources on the Poverty Alliance website, including toolkits, lesson plans and social media assets. We will be continuing to add to these resources ahead of the week.  
Our bright blue and pink CPW branding pops up everywhere during the week and we encourage organisations to use it in whatever events and activities they are planning. To help with this, we provide sample graphics and host a design space on our website also where organisations can create their own graphics and add in our CPW logo and adapt templates. This is the simplest way to take part in CPW – share a graphic on social media, use #ChallengePoverty and show your support for the key messages we are delivering.  

There are so many ways organisations can take part and we talk about conferences, webinars, roundtable discussions. These are larger events, and so many organisations do not have the capacity to organize something like this on their own. We encourage:  

  • COLLABORATION – would hosting a larger event be reachable if you could host alongside one or two other organisations? CPW is about us raising our voices together, so what better way to do this than to host an event together.  
  • SCHEDULE SMALLER/ONLINE – where a large event isn’t something you can do, this can be scaled-down. Maybe you could host a webinar which can often be more accessible and is more common-place now following the years of lockdown.  
  • SUPPORT – If you’re just not in a position to have an event like this find out what you CAN attend. We encourage everyone getting involved to add their events to the Events Calendar and this allows other to share events, attend and be more involved in what is going on through the week.  

CPW is always a busy time for us, and we know lots of organisations are the same with full diaries for the duration of the week. Everything mentioned below can be prepped and ready before CPW and published on the week:  

  • RESEARCH – although this is likely something that has been in the works for a while, CPW is an opportunity to launch or promote research. Using #ChallengePoverty will draw attention to your work.  
  • BLOGPOSTS – we will host blogposts on our website and know that lots of organisations will do the same. A big bonus is these can be written anytime and released on CPW and shared throughout the week.  
  • PODCASTS – again a bonus that these can be prepared in advance, and a fantastic way to engage different audiences. We have been encouraging those with podcasts to consider having special episodes for CPW.  
  • VIDEOS – we know these get picked up better on social media, whether it’s talking about the policy asks, or simply why you are getting involved in CPW, pieces to camera can be an effective way to communicate.  

There is a rising tide of poverty in Scotland as more people struggle to stay afloat during the cost-of-living crisis. Challenge Poverty Week is a crucial moment in the year to draw attention to the challenges of and solutions to poverty in Scotland.  
No matter how you take part, your voice is important in the fight against poverty. With compassion and justice at the heart of all we do, we can end poverty in Scotland together.  

Find out more about how you can raise your voice during Challenge Poverty Week on The Poverty Alliance website and our social media. You can also contact Alyson at