A community activist says she is looking forward to helping improve the lives of families after being named as a member of a Poverty Commission.

Shanaz Saddique, who hails from Burnley will be working with the Oldham Poverty Truth Commission which brings together people with real experience of hardship with others who have the power, influence and/or authority to do something about it.

Shanaz said: “My interest is in the people of Oldham, irrespective of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity. I believe in the principles of the commission and the need to redefine poverty. It’s not just financial; it’s multi-dimensional.

“I believe the commission should bring together professionals, with life experiences not so different to those we aim to understand, reach and support.

“Having spent over 30 years simultaneously within the private and state education, community and business sector I hope to use those skills and experience to aid the commission. The starting point is one of real life examples with ambassadors that tell the story with real practicalities and solutions.”

Data from the English Indices of Deprivation, released by Government in 2019, shows Oldham is in the top 20 most deprived boroughs in the country.

The Commission jointly managed by Action Together, Shared Health Foundation and Oldham Council. They will meet each month for the next year. The findings and recommendations will then be published in a report.

Shanaz added: “Together, the ambassadors, private and state sector professionals from community and business I believe we can get a better understanding, find solutions that really work and sign post them in simple language.”

Robbie Cowbury from Action Together said “I’m really pleased Oldham is the next place to embrace the Poverty Truth Commission approach. I’m proud to be involved with so many wonderful people, supported by incredible charities and voluntary groups.

"We want to change the story of poverty for everyone in Oldham, and that means better understanding people’s experiences, building relationships across our communities, and changing the underlying culture. That is what the Commission is all about.”