Zero-credit was less than a month old when the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published "Poverty in the Media" on 6th July 2009. It took two of the key points very much to heart:
- The internet provides new opportunities for self-expression. People can send emails, develop websites, write blogs and upload sound, stills and video clips.
- An online audience could be developed by setting up a web portal to provide a reliable resource of material from people with experience of poverty. This would also be a focus for debate. A demonstration project with a specific community could test the potential of internet media to develop awareness of poverty issues.
The past ten months have seen the steady growth of the entirely voluntary Zero-credit project to enjoy considerable Klout - not bad, for a lone volunteer working one day a week!
So, how does it work? Well, sharing positive experiences is the guiding principle.
Take Zerocredit_UK's anti-poverty/debt Twitter list, for instance. How much easier is it to find the charities, social enterprises and individuals whose actions and ethos support the interests of those suffering from or at risk of poverty or debt? Rather than fighting piecemeal the confusing swathe of those out to exploit financial difficulty, a clear body of support makes the unethical noticeable by their absence.
More recently, #APDHOF - a series of tweets every #charitytuesday - celebrates organisations, campaigns and initiatives drawn directly from this list to include in an anti-poverty / debt hall of fame. And you can add to this, amplify it or simply verify an account's inclusion... For whilst Zero-credit has been slow to formalise its not for profit status from an income which does not compromise integrity, the one thing of which you can be certain is the careful consideration of the project's connections.
And now? Well the good news is you'll see Zero-credit launch as a cooperative - an Industrial Provident Society to be precise - within the next few months! Content at this site will remain free to use and free from paid advertising, bolstered by discourse from Zerocredit_UK's #APDHOF partners, readers' contributions to our credit free living blogs and turnover from a range of research and consultancy services about to be launched!
If you'd like to find out more about how to contribute or become involved, e-mail: