WestGAP is an anti-poverty community group run by and for people in Glasgow who have first hand experience of living in poverty. We are totally independent, are not funded by government, and are not part of any political party or organisation. WestGAP was founded in 1997 and for many years was based in Partick, but has always been open to anyone needing our support. In late 2014 we relocated to Paisley Road West.
We run a free, independent and confidential advice service focused on welfare rights (for example, assisting with claims and appeals for DLA/PIP, ESA, Universal Credit, JSA, Tax Credits, Housing Benefit & Council Tax Reduction), while also providing support with housing problems, homelessness, fuel poverty and a wide range of other issues. Our advisors undergo a comprehensive training programme, both in-house and via various external organisations.
We also aim to perform a community development role, supporting other local groups and offering training to other organisations, e.g. poverty awareness training for health care workers, training on social security entitlements for addiction workers, etc. Please get in touch if you would like to speak to us about setting up training for your group.
We have participated in various networks and have responded to a range of consultations on issues relevant to our members, as well as being actively involved in the development of wider anti-poverty initiatives, such as the Stand Together, Oppose Poverty Weekend of Action, and the West of Scotland Anti-Poverty Movement. We also contribute to research that helps to illuminate the root causes and corrosive effects of inequality – for example, see our joint research project with Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme and the University of Glasgow on the impact of gentrification on people living on low income in our community.
We want to eradicate poverty and change the world, and we believe that the best way to do that is by people getting together locally to effect positive change as individuals and as a community, and to share experiences in larger forums, which in turn can exert pressure on governments and policy makers.
We see no difference between the end we want to achieve and the means by which we achieve it, i.e. we operate on a collective basis with an active commitment to equality and an intolerance of sexism, racism and homophobia, and of discrimination based on disability, age or class. We believe we cannot expect change of others unless we are willing to start with ourselves, and we work constantly to do so.
WestGAP is a registered Scottish charity, no. SC 030367.