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CFINE's Lived Experience Group

Posted 29th Feb 2024 · Blog
“”
“everyone’s different backgrounds and experiences made me feel reassured to open up”
Anonymous
“”
“once the groups up and running properly, it’ll be important and the voice will be heard…more voices better as everyone will have different opinions and experiences”
Anonymous
“”
“number one problem is how to get the support you need without being judged”
Anonymous
“”
“everything changed in accessing help after the pandemic”
Anonymous
“”
“people don’t have as much faith in public services as they used to”
Anonymous
“”
“they’ll cut more things and that’ll create more hurdles…it’s spiralling out of control, like going back to the Victorian ages, scary”
Anonymous
“”
“there aren’t enough pantries, there should be more, a lot of people collect food parcels but don’t know about the pantry”
Anonymous

If you are feeling the pinch of the cost-of-living crisis – remember you are not alone. Thousands of people across Aberdeen are struggling to make ends meet. Food, energy, and housing costs are all rising, and many people are finding it difficult to afford the basics. To help reduce isolation, raise awareness, and advocate for change CFINE has set up a ‘Lived Experience Group’.

CFINE is passionate about hearing people’s voices on the issues that affect them. We believe that the voices of those most affected by challenges, such as the cost-of-living crisis, are integral to finding solutions. This view is also echoed by politicians and in recent years ‘lived experience’ has become a term used by policymakers to allow people’s voices to lead the way. The group has been developing via participants’ feedback and ultimately will result in a report, co-produced by CFINE staff and group participants, for decision makers to inform their approach to tackling food insecurity.

The group meets fortnightly at CFINE’s premises and since January 2024 have discussed the following topics:

Furthermore, two participants of the group were invited to an event promoting the impact of the Fairer Aberdeen Fund at the Townhouse. This was a showcase event organised by Fairer Aberdeen funded organisations to highlight the impact of the fund across the city. The event was attended by various recipients of the fund, Councillors, MSPs, MPs and Aberdeen City Council employees. The participants attended as part of CFINE’s stall and engaged in conversations to raise awareness of the group, its aims, and progress so far. For both members of the group, it was their first time speaking to politicians:

  • “that was the first time [speaking to politicians] it was a good experience, I felt like they took us seriously…which was good”.
  • “I’m not worthless, but sometimes you feel it, I felt on top of the world that day, it helped improve my confidence, I felt so good about myself”

If you would like to connect with others, raise awareness of food poverty in Aberdeen, and have your voice heard by policymakers please contact smcveigh@cfine.org / 01224 596156.