Changing the narrative of poverty in the UK: ThinkNation

ThinkNation are hosting an event with young people to #ChangeTheNarrative of poverty in the UK

As part of Community week across East Kent Colleges, Canterbury College had the privilege of learning from ThinkNation in a push to change the views of poverty in the UK, linking back to their upcoming event that aims to bring young people together and tackle the stigma.

Before getting into the world-wide issue of poverty, ThinkNation showed students a film with their founder, Lizzie Hodgson, team and hacker, Jake Davis. The internet and technology has become a massive part of our society and daily life and it’s easy to fall into places with the wrong intentions. Through listening to Jake’s story about his advancement with hacking and how the consequences caught up with him, young people were expressing their moral perspective of what is right or wrong. Questions and interest from the students brought out the views of the ThinkNation team, as well as discussing how talents like hacking can be used for good. With the help of the organisation, young people began to understand how cyber-crime is an easy trap to fall in to, but also how the punishments are a serious matter.

After the back-and-forth between students and the team, another film was played that introduced the struggles and stigma against poverty in the UK. The message was spread that many people who are in poverty aren’t aware of this, or don’t define as having less than needed. The college saw how young people across the country are struggling to keep their families fed daily, keep up-to-date with work and their social life while taking care of their parents or siblings, and noticing the difference between the bare basics they can afford, as opposed to the luxuries others get.

One student from Canterbury College said, ‘it made me rethink my perspective on poverty’, while another felt that ‘it really opened my eyes to the effects that poverty can have on young people, and how it can affect all aspects of their life whether it be in school or at home’.

ThinkNation are organisation that focuses on the well-being of young people. Their aim is to empower young people on the impacts of technology in their lives and create events, workshops and films to bring the youth together while creating an educated generation. They team up with other establishments and like-minded thinkers who want to tackle the big questions in our society.

To get young people involved in changing the stigma ThinkNation are hosting a whole day event at The Gulbenkian Theatre on December 8th, tackling the issue with those who are affected. As part of Project Twist-it, a variety of people are coming together to change the story about poverty. For ages 14-25 between 9am and 5pm, you can get involved in creating presentations, talks and ideas about creating a better life online, at home and in schools for those in poverty. The event will be supported by mentors in subjects such as business, arts, education and technology throughout to give you the best experience.

Not only can you get involved in creating these amazing ideas, you can also watch the show between 6pm and 8:30pm when there will be a presentation the work made throughout the day, as well as spoken word, Q&A sessions and a performance from Louisa Roach. This show is open to anyone, no matter your age or if you’ve been involved earlier in the day, so there’s no reason not to come along!

The narrative of poverty in the UK needs to be changed, and with the help of the community, we can create a better environment online, at home and in schools for those affected. The first step to this change is to educate ourselves so that we can push onwards.

Oliver McManus

Guest Contributor

Student at Canterbury College.