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

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!

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 is 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!

Kidi Teklemariam
Kidi Teklemariam

Kidi is the founder of Unleashing Refugee Potential C.I.C, a social enterprise dedicated to assisting refugees and migrants in accessing education, employment, and self-employment opportunities. Additionally, she served as a community commissioner on the Leeds Poverty Truth Commission, actively engaging in efforts to combat poverty in her community.
Currently, she is in the final year of her PhD program, focusing on migrant education and conducting valuable research in this field. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending quality moments with friends and community members, watching movies, and immersing herself in the world of music.

Joanna Young

Joanna is CEO at Citizens Advice North Lancashire and a trustee at Morecambe Bay Foodbank. She’s a school governor and previously a City Councillor on Lancaster City Council. A Civic & Business Commissioner in round two of Morecambe Bay Poverty Truth Commission, Joanna is really passionate about working to amplify the voices of those who have lived experience of poverty to ensure they can play a full part in the community.
When she’s not at work Joanna loves Morecambe where she lives with her husband and three teenagers and can be frequently found on the prom with two much loved and badly behaved black pugs.

Michou Burckett St Laurent

Michou works in Wellbeing Services in Higher Education and is passionate about providing people-focused support and being part of the transformative impact that services can have. She joined the Swansea Poverty Truth Commission as a Civic & Business Commissioner and through this, has not only made great friends but learned a great deal, not least about the incredible work of the Network.
She is currently studying for an MSc in Psychology and loves learning, particularly with and from others through coproduction. She loves reading, music and being outside (ideally up a hill with her dog).

Barbara Dean

I have been a victim of poverty and hardship over the years and several members of my family are Autistic. This means that I have also experienced the many barriers to getting the help for people I desperately needed to.
I have been a Community Commissioner with Cheshire West and Chester Poverty Truth Commission, which has been very rewarding, and given me the opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty today.
I spend most of my spare time with my family, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but also meet regularly with friends where we go to different live music or amdram events and meals out.

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.