The Blackpool Poverty Truth Commission are a team of local people, listening to other local people’s experiences of living through the pandemic and in poverty.

Based at Empowerment, the team are networking with professionals, businesses and more importantly residents to gather their views on what life has been like during the last 12 months. 

Once this information has been gathered, the team then meet with key decision makers to make change. Empowerment’s mission to bring about lived experience to inspire change has never been more prominent with this new service. 

What is a Poverty Truth Commissions?

Listen to the Poverty Truth Commission

The Blackpool Poverty Truth Commission Team Out and About in the Community

Meet the Blackpool Poverty Truth Commission Team

Gillian Oliver

Blackpool Poverty Truth Commission Co-Ordinator

Gillian Oliver comes from leading a social supermarket scheme for Church Action on Poverty. Growing up in Bury, Gillian loved holidays with her granny in Blackpool now lives in St Anne’s. She served as County Councillor in Preston until 2021.

Gillian is a trained journalist with a career in TV news and has written ‘The Church Weddings Handbook – a guide for Vicars to what brides really think’.  Her new book, a memoir, has just been published in Prague.



Emma Jackson

Blackpool Poverty Truth Commission Project Officer

Emma is Blackpool born and bred and runs the Revoe Community Choir winning a place on BBC’s The Voice. The show plucked her from her job as a ticket attendant on Blackpool Pier to court stardom in London.  She has just been awarded the British Empire Medal for her community work in 2020.