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YCW CALL MPs TO GET FAIR ABOUT YOUTH POVERTY The Young Christian Workers (YCW) have called on all Members of Parliament to turn their attention from the expenses scandal to the scandal of UK poverty. Launching a photo driven campaign depicting everyday young people in situations of poverty and isolation, the YCW sent each MP five postcards, illustrating the reality of UK youth poverty. The photos include a young sofa-surfer, a low waged worker and a young adult overwhelmed by the expense of the retail and leisure industry. Speaking about the initiative YCW President, Danny Curtin, said “In the wake of the expenses scandal, we hope this is a chance for MPs to show that they are committed to their young constituents. In the midst of every community you can find the crippling affects of poverty which strips people of their self-worth and sense of dignity. As the world’s fifth richest nation, this is simply wrong. It’s time to get fair”. The postcard campaign asks each MP to commit to help eradicate poverty, by supporting policies that promote the dignity and value of every young person in the UK. Curtin continued “Our society has all the resources we need to do something about poverty. There is no justifiable reason why UK poverty should be allowed to exist.” The YCW’s main concern is that, by the government’s own measure, 28% of 16-24 year olds live in poverty in the UK. Furthermore, the campaign claims, over a third of young full time workers do not earn a living wage, and 1-in-5 cannot afford the leisure activities that most people would take for granted. As such, the leisure industry is pricing the poorest in society out of the market. Worse still, housing costs are forcing people into overcrowded accommodation, now numbering 300,000 young people, 60,000 becoming ‘sofa-surfers’, travelling from one sofa to another. The YCW is now extending the campaign to seek support from young people to lobby their own MPs directly, local leaders, church leaders and their friends and colleagues, establishing a broad-based support to seek to eradicate all UK poverty by 2020. Postcards and information are available from YCW (getfair@ycwimpact.com). The launch was timed to coincide with the national Get Fair Lobby of MP’s (26th-28th June). Get Fair is a coalition of over 60 UK charities and organisations, who are asking that the government’s commitment to end child poverty by 2020 is extended to end poverty in all sections of UK society. See www.getfair.org.uk http://www.ycwimpact.com/news.php?articleid=38