SPTC- Our Journey

3rd November 2017

Stockton Poverty Truth Commission Launch Event

After 18 months of preparation, Stockton launched its Poverty Truth Commission. Inspired by the work in other areas, a group of steering group members – Thrive, Cummins, Trussell Trust Food Bank, Love Stockton, St Peter’s Church, Stage Coach, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Christian’s Against Poverty explored the possibility of this happening in our Borough.

The launch was a great success – in the words of one of our very own community commissioners…

“Right from the first word I was hooked to the atmosphere, we were only expecting roughly 60-70 people at most but someone had pointed out that we had at least 100 attending and to me that provided a boost. Everything got off to a brilliant start with Kath giving the welcoming speech with some amazing photos of Stockton Old & New behind her followed by the Bishop of Durham who preceded the 2 MP’s of Stockton North & South. Each of these 3 men gave their own version of “Poverty must be stopped” speeches before we heard from those that are currently living a life of Poverty in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees.“

Videos from the Stockton Poverty Truth launch event are on our youtube channel- Click Here to watch.


16th March 2018

Second All Commissioners Meeting

The aim of this commission meeting was to agree on the areas of work for the Stockton Poverty Truth Commission. Working subgroups looked at a specific theme that had been agreed as a priority concern and were asked to focus on a number of key questions:

  • What are the key things (practice and experiences) that happen on a daily basis to make things harder, and:
  • What could the solutions be?
  • Would these solutions work?
  • What would life look like if you adopted these solutions?

Out of five topic areas, three of them were voted by the commissioners to take forward. These areas were:

  • Mental Health
  • Frustrations of a Job Seeker
  • Additional Costs Associated With The School Day

October 17th 2018

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

On October 17th 2018, Thrive and The Poverty Truth Commission were raising awareness for the International Day of the Eradication of Poverty on Stockton High Street.

We got to showcase our #StocktonUnderstands pledge to the community from our stall on the busy market. It was met with positive feedback and some signed to the pledge to show support.

Members of Thrive and the Poverty Truth Commission who have personal experience of the issue used the stall to talk to the community about the scale and impact of poverty in the town, we discussed ways to unlock the poverty trap and debunking some of the common myths.

We also used the Doric Column monument to hold a ‘Speakers’ Corner’, where various local residents gave their views on what needs to be done.

October 17th is the designated International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Many organisations around the world held events or demonstrations.


31st May 2019

Stockton Poverty Truth Commission- Progress Event

On 31st of May 2019, The Poverty Truth Commission held a progress event, showcasing the highlights of our achievements over the prior eighteen months, as well as a chance to progress our work going forward and showcase some of the accomplishments that we had achieved nationally.

Attendees got the chance to split into our three working groups, Mental healthFrustrations of a Job Seeker and Additional costs associated with the school day.

Some attendees included:

The day was a great success and had a huge impact on our approach going forward.


17th October 2019

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

For this year’s IDEP, Thrive Teesside and SPTC hosted an event in Stockton Town Centre, spreading awareness for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty as well as creating conversation. The event also featured a presentation from Dr Jo Foster PHD, the theme being; 


The social impact of de-industrialisation: lifelong learning for socio-economic inclusion or exclusion? With a round table discussion and Q&A at the end. We wanted to show solidarity in Stockton-On-Tees with people with lived experience of poverty, to demonstrate, despite division, our communities stay united.

We were also joined by other groups on a National level to LIGHT UP THE UK MAP through our social media campaign and involvement with the APLE Collective . Documentation of our event as well as all of the other activities that happened all across the UK is available on the APLE Collective website.


March 2020- March 2021

Poverty Truth in Lockdown

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been challenging for everyone, from keeping the kids fed to accessing vital services, the Stockton Poverty Truth Commission wanted to capture some of the issues that our communities have been facing, issues that were already there but have been highlighted and amplified by the pandemic.