4 January 2022

“We’ve got to stop blaming people for poverty. People don’t choose to experience poverty.”

That was the message of our chief executive Gillian Sewell after she was invited to take part in the prestigious Leaders Council podcast.

The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently in the process of talking to leadership figures from across the nation in an attempt to understand this universal trait and what it means in Britain and Northern Ireland today.

Throughout the last two years, YMCA Derbyshire has kept their doors open to individuals needing support with housing, education, mental wellbeing and childcare.

In the podcast, Gillian delves into how the pandemic has worked to decrease blame around poverty and how partnerships have been at the centre of supporting those most in need.

The charity has worked very closely with Derby City Council, Derby City Partnership Board, the Food 4 Thought and Youth Alliances as well as the Poverty Truth Commission led by Peter Robinson Dean of Derby to ensure the correct help is provided for those facing poverty within the city and county.

“We’ve taken the politics out of it. As a leader in the city, I’m listening to an authentic voice and understand what is required of us as a charity.

“I’m listening directly to those that we deliver services to. It’s about understanding how the poverty has come about, rather than assuming.”

Gillian also talks to Scott about her thoughts on the after effects of the pandemic and how YMCA Derbyshire will move forward.

“There has to be a significant investment in mental health. I do worry that decision makers might forget quite quickly where the need is.”

Lord Blunkett, chairman of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland said, “I think the most informative element this podcast is where Scott Challinor is able to sit down with someone who really gets how their industry works and knows how to make their organisation tick. Someone who’s there day in day out working hard and inspiring others. That’s what leadership is all about.”

To listen to more of Gillian’s thoughts around the charity sector and moving through the pandemic, please use the link below.