Who we are

The Poverty Truth Network supports Poverty Truth Commissions and encourages them to work together. All local commissions are responsible for their own work.

Members: Every Poverty Truth Commission is invited to become part of the Poverty Truth Network after their opening event. A commission does this by proposing two of its commissioners to become members of the network.

View our current Commission Locations

Trustees: Our trustees have all been commissioners of local Poverty Truth Commissions. At least 50% of the board should be trustees who have had a direct experience of the struggle against poverty. Our current trustees are:

Alex Campbell
Alex Campbell

I was a Joiner for a lot of my life and have been in recovery from alcohol/drugs now for five years. I work as a support worker for people trying to achieve the same thing. I am a member of the Morecambe Bay PTC. I love music, travel and have an amazing family I love spending time with, especially my beautiful daughter Sophie.

Hugh Douglas
Hugh Douglas

I got involved in Birmingham PTC as a community commissioner whilst living in supported housing after a long term drug dependency. PTC started as something to do with my time and maybe an opportunity to contribute some valuable experiences, but became something much more important to me. I am interested in people, politics, and playing music/noise.

Lee Hemsworth
Vice-chair and Secretary

I currently work at Leeds City Council where I am a Chief Officer responsible for the Customer Access and the Welfare and Benefits Service. I have 24 years of experience working in Local Government with 12 of those in a Chief Officer capacity. I live in East Yorkshire and have two children: Jake and Katie. I’m an avid football fan, supporting LFC, and I love reading, watching films and learning about (and drinking) wine!

Shirley Rigby
Shirley Rigby

I started on the steering group for the first West Cheshire PTC which gave me many fantastic opportunities, including acting as consort to the Mayor of Ellesmere Port. My other interests include singing, spending time with family and friends, my job at a local retirement living scheme.

Imogen Tyler

I am a Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University, and was a civic commissioner on Morecambe Bay Poverty Truth Commission. Much of my research and teaching focuses on issues of poverty, inequality, and social justice. In my recent book Stigma I drew on my work with MBPTC. In my spare time I like to spend time with family and friends, walk my dog Bonnie and take trips in my VW campervan.

PJ Atkinson

In a former life PJ was an ambitious finance business partner, then in 2015 he had a damaging mental breakdown and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder. In the years that followed he was pummelled by Universal Credit and misunderstood by hIs council housing group. He hopes that his knowledge of before and after 2015 can benefit the trustees. In his spare time he plays bass and writes poetry and lies about going to the gym.

Claire Brown
Claire Brown

Claire is an artist, wife, and mum of 2 amazing boys both with additional needs. In her spare time she am learning to play the cello and she enjoys hiking. She is passionate about improving the quality and availability of accessible housing.

Nadine Travers

Nadine got involved in the Manchester Poverty Truth Commission in 2018 whilst studying for her undergraduate degree in Social Policy. She saw this as an ideal opportunity to share her ‘adult care leaver’ experience concerning the ricochet impacts that deep childhood poverty seems bring into adulthood, despite hard work and multiple jobs!
When she is not challenging injustice, her spare time includes travelling, cooking, reading and spending quality time with her two sons and Bella the dog!

Staff: The Network has a small team of part-time workers who are responsible for the day to day running of the network and fulfilling its purpose. Details of our current staff team are here: current staff team.

Funders: Our funders are JRF – The Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Lankelly Chase; and The National Lottery Community Fund.