For over 20 years, I have helped run a drop-in for homeless people at my church, Hall Gate United Reformed Church, in the centre of Doncaster.
Increasingly, people are coming to our drop-in who are not strictly ‘homeless’ but who are nevertheless needing support because of their dire financial and economic situations.
It is quite clear that poverty is increasing in our area. More people than ever are affected by rising prices, government cuts and unemployment.
These are problems for the whole of society. But often, people experiencing poverty are abused by politicians and in the media with terms like ‘skivers’, ‘scroungers’, ‘chavs’ and ‘underclass’.
In these tough economic times, this paper can play an important role by using appropriate language.
Your readers include people who are experiencing poverty.
They need to be participants rather than objects.
Let’s celebrate the tenacity and resilience of people who manage to get by and support their families in such challenging circumstances.
I try to reflect these concerns in what I do and say. I am keen to support politicians and media professionals who do the same.
Rod Morrison, Cantley Lane, Doncaster