Social Action in Oldham



What is the Oldham Poverty Truth Commission?

The Oldham Poverty Truth Commission brought together the experiences of people who have been in poverty alongside people who work in the council and health services, business, and charities to make deep changes to causes of poverty in Oldham.

Poverty Truth Commissions are a national model pioneered by the Poverty Truth Network. They seek to identify different approaches to addressing poverty through direct experience, relationships, and humanising people as well as systems.

Download the full Oldham Poverty Truth Commission Report 


Who we are

Oldham’s Poverty Truth Commission was made up of a diverse group of people of all different backgrounds and life stories working and living in the borough. Not all of those who started out were able to continue on the whole journey with us, and plenty of others got involved along the way!

Front row: Simon Carrigan; Aisling Bouketta, Kashif Ashraf, Ronni Hall, Lynda Smith, Mandy Ugbomah, Nadia Masood, Shanaz Siddique, Elaine Morgan, Lisa Williams

Back row: Marian Chidziya; Sayyida Bano, Jo Spurling, Robbie Cowbury, Caroline Lee, Diane Baxter, Richard Lynch, Rebecca Sutcliffe, Dave Wilkinson, Anna Pratt, Amjad Karim, Vaughan Gannon, Andrew Gregori

Not pictured: Yaasmin Mughees, Colin McLaren, Cath Ball, David Garner, Amanda Richardson, Bill Lovat, David Austin, Mahmuda Khanom


Overview of journey

The Poverty Truth Commission was a result of several social justice projects coming together in Oldham. These efforts by community champions, charities like Action Together, as well as Oldham Council and NHS, were starting to look at poverty differently when the COVID pandemic highlighted just how deep and significant inequalities in the borough were.

The resulting project has blossomed into a number of ongoing workstreams, not least the Oldham Poverty Action Network which has been able to draw in more people, more perspectives, and more experiences to maintain the focus on poverty in the borough.

Watch this video produced in collaboration with the NHS Build Back Fairer initiative for an overview of the PTC journey.

More on the stages of the PTC is below:


Section 1: Drivers



Section 2: The Route



Section 3: The Destination



Watch our Commissioner's stories

These videos tell the story of the Commission through it’s most important component: the people involved. Each one highlights the importance of one of the key themes the Commission identified, why it’s relevant to people’s experience of poverty, and how it can be applied in different contexts.


What can I do now?

Inspired by the stories from the Poverty Truth Commission? Do you want to play your part in achieving social action in Oldham?