Get Talking Hardship

Community Advocates Chloe, Paul and Matt joined a team of community researchers at Staffordshire University in Stoke-on-Trent to deliver ‘Get Talking Hardship’, a research project commissioned by the local Hardship Commission.

The aim of the research was to listen and capture stories of what living with hardship means to people in our city.

With support from Asist our Community Researchers visited people with disabilities in local day services to hear people’s stories of living with hardship.

Our team helped to share people’s stories over 80 people representing organisations including the Hardship Commission in Stoke-on-Trent.

We shared the stories of people with learning disabilities who had experienced hardship as a result of changes in their benefits, some had little or no control over their everyday finances and some were experiencing poor mental health and wellbeing as a result.

We were shocked to hear how devastating this felt for people experiencing hardship, often fighting for equality in their lives.

After reading the report on Get Talking Hardship our local Member of Parliament asked Teresa May, during Prime Ministers Question Time about the causes of Poverty in Stoke-on Trent as Stoke-on-Trent is the 16th most deprived area in the country.

Our Community Advocates made sure people with disabilities voices were included in the Get Talking Hardship research work.

Community Advocates are helping to push for greater inclusion and equality in our city together.

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Get Talking Hardship report image

Hardship Report PDF final

VOICES of Stoke


Getting involved in arts and culture

“In 2017, Reach members got involved in Stoke-on-Trent’s bid to be City of Culture 2021. Staffordshire University worked with Reach, an advocacy group for people with learning disabilities, supported by Asist, to train 10 peer researchers to help understand the barriers for people with learning disabilities when accessing mainstream arts and culture.  In total they gathered feedback from 82 people with learning disabilities from across Stoke-on-Trent.

We have produced two reports which outline the findings and both are here for you to share and download.”

Nic Gratton

Lead for Cultural and Connected Community Engagement Staffordshire University

Clear information report Getting Involved in Arts and Culture

Getting involved in arts and culture


People with Learning Disabilities and their access to mainstream cultural activity


People with Learning Disabilities and their access to mainstream cultural activity