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INTERVIEW: Julia Unwin On A Mission To End Poverty

Posted by Mark Cantrell on December 7, 2012 at 3:45 PM

AT HOME WITH... Julia Unwin

It’s said that the poor shall always be with us but that isn’t good enough for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). As Julia Unwin, chief executive, explained to Mark Cantrell in the August edition of Housing magazine, the organisation is dedicated to understanding the causes of poverty – so that it might one day be eliminated

Some might be tempted to think of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) as a well-meaning theoretical body, a thinktank removed from the gritty realities of hard practice, but that is far from the case.


For sure, the organisation commissions and publishes a wealth of research, but bound up as it is with the Joseph Rowntree Housing trust (JRHT), it is hardly sheltered from the daily realities of providing housing, care and support, or generally working at the coalface of the many socio-economic issues that form the housing sector’s daily bread.


Taken together, the two form a symbiotic whole, sharing directors and trustees, both dedicated to a single purpose.


“We work to one single strategic plan, we have one set of objectives: we are an organisation committed to ending poverty,” said Julia Unwin, the chief executive of both the JRF and JRHT.


A simple, albeit bold mission statement, but it’s not out to change the world alone. Rather, the 100-year-old trust seeks to identify and understand the underlying causes of poverty and inequality and identify solutions through both research and learning, providing an evidence base for change. As an independent organisation, the JRF unashamedly takes a firm stance that other organisations might shy from: it is anything but neutral, firmly siding with people and places in poverty.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Northern, Midlands and Southern Housing magazine,

July-August 2012


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