Bringing together those living at the sharp end of poverty with key decision makers to work together towards tackling and overcoming poverty in the area.

Swansea Poverty Truth Commission (SPTC) places those affected by poverty at the heart of decision-making about poverty. PTC’s give a face to the facts, by creating safe spaces for people with lived experience of poverty to tell their stories, build relationships with each other, and with influential decision makers in the local area.

The key principles of PTC’s are based on learning from post-apartheid peace building in South Africa with the theme “Nothing about us, without us, is for us” and are summarised here.

In 2019, partners from the statutory and voluntary sectors came together with a commitment to establish a Poverty Truth Commission in Swansea, the first of its kind in Wales.

Join us on 23rd October to find out more about the Swansea Poverty Truth Commission, and how you can get involved (click)

PTC’s have a lifespan, usually between 18 months to 2 years (click here for information on the Swansea timeline here) and follow a series of ‘steps’ from beginning to end (view the SPTC steps here).

The vital part of the commission is the building of human relationships and trust through really listening to each other and being valued as individuals.

In this safe environment poverty can be truly addressed and opportunities are provided for those making and influencing decisions to listen deeply and effectively. 

Key to the structure are the Community Commissioner and Civic and Business Commissioner roles:

Our most transformative moments have nearly always centred on the sharing of someone’s experience of struggle. It has made the problem real, encouraged empathy and created tangible passion for change.

JRF PTC’s Learning Report, August 2019

If you are interested in supporting Swansea Poverty Truth Commission, or want more information about getting involved, please contact the facilitation team:

Sian Denty [email protected] / 07943189226

Kay Lemon [email protected]  07538105482

Or email [email protected]

You can also find answers to some frequently asked questions here.


What is a Poverty Truth Commission?

People can just become ‘a story’ that then gets passed around and heard all over the show. With PTC, it is different because it is people sharing their story in a way that empowers them - it is not tokenistic for us to get airtime in the media, it is their agenda, their experience - whatever part of it that they want to share. It is up to them to decide what they want to share, how they want to share it, where they want to.

JRF PTC’s Learning Report, August 2019

PTC’s deepen understanding of the emotive and difficult experiences of poverty, challenge perceptions and lead to better decision making across business, public and third sectors. 

Within the space created by the PTC, power imbalances, along with deep-seated beliefs based on stereotypes around poverty, can be identified and addressed in a safe and positive manner forming the foundations for effective conversations and change.  PTC’s offer an opportunity for more meaningful participation, this is more than just having a conversation with people, and are framed around an “action-based” structure.  The approaches used gives people confidence in their capacity to control their own circumstances and have the potential to improve health and wellbeing and life prospects.

All Poverty Truth Commission’s are independent and not owned or directed by any one single organisation. To be successful they need private, public and not for profit organisations to work together.

Swansea Poverty Truth Commission (Swansea PTC) - the first Poverty Truth Commission in Wales – is hosted by SCVS.

Email [email protected] for more information


The history of Poverty Truth Commissions in the UK, and how Swansea forged ahead to become the first PTC in Wales

Since the first PTC took place in Glasgow in 2009, there have been over a dozen successful commissions across Scotland and England.

After looking at the evidence of how these PTC’s contributed to tackling poverty in their areas, there was a firm commitment from the statutory, business and third sectors to establishing a commission in Swansea.

Early in 2019 a Start-Up Group formed, made up of interested representatives across sectors and people with direct experience of poverty, and has since met regularly to support the set-up of the Swansea PTC.

Following on from identifying and securing funding, a Facilitation Team was recruited in June this year and work to start identifying participants has begun.

Email [email protected] for more information