Never the Same Again? Addressing Poverty After the Pandemic

Poverty Alliance Annual Conference 

9th October 2020, 9.30am – 2.15pm 

The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the many social injustices in our society. It has highlighted the importance of our social security system in providing a lifeline when we need it most; we’ve seen that many vital jobs are undervalued, unrecognised and precarious; or that some people are hit hardest – women, disabled people, people from black and minority ethnic communities.

We have also seen community solidarity, a new appreciation of key workers and a growing sense of the need for change, and to ‘build back better’. Our annual conference this year will consider how the pandemic has impacted on people living on low incomes, what it means for the future, and how we can begin to make positive change from our collective experience.

Through a series of sessions we will explore different aspects of the impact of the pandemic, discussions led by a range of expert speakers.  To take part in the conference please register for each session separately using the links below – attend as many sessions as possible in order to take full advantage of the discussions.

Summary Agenda


Session 1: Poverty in a Pandemic: Our Experience,

09.30 – 10.45

Speakers include members of the Poverty Alliance Community Activist Group and Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government.

To register for the opening session click here


Session 2: Poverty in a Pandemic: what we have learned? (Workshops) 11:00 – 12:15 

(please note that places are limited for workshops)


Workshop 1: Paid work, poverty and coronavirus 

Speakers are:

·         Pheona Matovu, Director, Radiant and Brighter;

·         Laura Gardiner, Director, Living Wage Foundation;

·         Alex Warren, Director of Strategic Development, The Wise Group;

·         Jack Evans, Manager, Living Wage Scotland (chair).

To register for workshop 1 click here


Workshop 2: Fit for Purpose? Social Security in the Pandemic

Speakers are:

·         Dr Ruth Patrick, University of York/Covid Realities;

·         Russell Gunson, Director, IPPR Scotland;

·         Eilidh Dickson, Policy and Parliamentary Manager, Engender;

·         John Dickie, Director, CPAG Scotland (chair)

To register for workshop 2 click here



Workshop 3: Communities and Coronavirus 

Speakers are:

·         Rami Ousta, CEO, BEMIS (tbc);

·         Jimmy Wilson, CEO, FARE Scotland;

·         Pippa Coutts, Policy & Development Manager, Carnegie UK Trust;

·         Fiona Garven, Director, Scottish Community Development Centre (chair).

To register for workshop 3 click here


Session 3: Round Table: Prospects for change, 13:00 – 14:15

Speakers for our final round table are:

·         Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive, Scottish Refugee Council;

·         Mary Senior, Vice President, Scottish Trade Union Congress;

·         Dr Katherine Trebeck, Advocacy Lead, Wellbeing Economy Alliance;

·         Dame Julia Unwin, Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Civil Society & member of the Scottish Government Council of Economic Advisors.

14:00-14:15 Closing remarks and next steps

·         Peter Kelly, Director, the Poverty Alliance

To register for the round table discussion please click here