2015 marked 50 years since the formation of the Child Poverty Action Group. Such an anniversary is a great excuse to spend some time thinking about the past.
Georgina Brewis has neatly summed up in eight points why it’s good for charities to maintain their archives and explore their history, from celebrating the contribution of generations of volunteers to demonstrating long-term impact and learning lessons about what works (and what doesn’t). And Professor Pat Thane has put this into practice, working with Tanya Evans on the history of the single parent group today called Gingerbread and using it as the basis for an excellent book on the history of unmarried mothers.
So it made perfect sense for the Chief Executive of CPAG, Alison Garnham, to ask Prof Thane to undertake some research into the group’s history. I was then delighted when she asked me to assist her in the project. I helped get the project up and running, before handing over to Ruth Davidson and Lise Butler. The following posts tracked some of my work on the project.
Witness Seminar – announcement (15 Dec 2014)
CPAG’s 50th anniversary year begins with a ‘witness seminar’, bringing together a host of key figures of the group in the 1970s and 1980s to share their memories. Details of the project and the event were given in the first blog post.
CPAG at Christmas (22 Dec 2014)
On the eve of CPAG’s anniversary year, a few reflections on how the group has used the festive season in its campaigns over the decades – from early prisoner release to the more usual seasonal backdrop to raising awareness of poverty.
Then and Now (13 Jan 2015)
CPAG’s 50th anniversary year began with a witness seminar at King’s College London, with leading figures of the group’s earlier years sharing their memories of campaigning against family poverty in the 1970s and 1980s.