Today the Digital Sentinel had a chat with local people to tie in with Challenge Poverty Week. We wanted to ensure that local voices were heard and concerns and feedback were noted. This will all feed into the national discussion into how Scotland can be a fairer and more equal place to live.We held a community chat at the Wester Hailes Library and then moved to the Plaza to speak to more people. We captured views and opinions on poverty, some real life experiences and ways forward. Below are some of the comments.
What are the issues that matter to you?
A Secure and happy family life, making the area a safer place to live, lack of visible community policing, lack of employment opportunities, having financial security, a better quality of life, good mental health, less stress, good quality support services, early diagnosis of health problems, anti-social behaviour with youth, the UK Government.
What do you think needs to be done to create a fairer and more equal place to live?
Well I think that all DWP sanctions should be barred. They are nothing to do with getting people back to work and its just about pure cruelty.
Lack of employment opportunities was a big concern.
People are struggling to find jobs. Wester Hailes is getting populated everyday, which is good. In the last several years people thought Wester Hailes was a bad area to live, that era is gone. More people are moving in now so it would be good to have more jobs. Its good for people to have jobs so they are able to pay their rent and they will not be living on benefits anymore.
I’d hate to be a young person now straight out school looking for a job
The availability of accessible social and creative opportunities were raised as a must for good health and well-being
Having something to do it makes a big difference to somebody. As you get a little bit older you’ve got to have an active life. Quite a lot of older people just sort of fade away. I think that is quite important.
I regularly use the different libraries but i don’t get involved in any other local activities. I just don’t. I’m looking for a job but can’t find one at the moment.
I have my own medical situation, which goes back a long time. I got a very late diagnosis of a certain mental hearth condition. As a result of that I’ve sort of fallen behind in getting help with it and I find there is not a lot of serious help available.
There needs to be more help and support services like the Cyrenians in the area. People don’t know these places exist. I suffered from high blood pressure due to stress when I had issues with my landlord and my GP put me in touch with them. It changed my life. They were so good.