Getting Ahead

Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World

Bidwill Uniting is initiating Getting Ahead, an innovative program for people living in poverty to access resources they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Many people living in poverty are in a downward spiral, often referred to as a cycle of poverty or generational poverty. And the cycle needs to be broken. Many Bidwill residents experience such a downward spiral which means that they miss out on opportunities that many of us take for granted.

Poverty is not just financial in nature, it can also be emotional, educational, spiritual, physical, social, motivational, and cultural.

We all experience poverty to some degree in some of these areas at different times. However, people who have found themselves with very few resources across a whole range of areas need to be able to learn about and access these resources, few of which are material.


Getting Ahead is a 10 session course that helps participants investigate and understand their own experience of poverty and the cultural and often hidden ‘rules’, norms, expectations, motivators, strengths and resources in their own lives and communities as well as those of ‘middle class’ society, where many necessary activities take place. This learning process enables people from disadvantaged communities to access the knowledge and resources that they need to successfully interact with other groups in society and move towards their goals, such as finding and maintaining employment.

The Getting Ahead program aims for two levels of change:

  1. Participants moving from poverty to economic stability; and
  2. Learning and cultural change amongst the local community to encourage and assist others in moving out of poverty.

All participants set themselves goals and are supported by the group to achieve these goals. The participants meet together weekly over a meal and work together to address issues for themselves and the community.

As part of this program, we are seeking volunteers:

375We are inviting people who are not experiencing poverty to participate in the course alongside local residents in order to:

  • Learn more about and engage deeply with Bidwill residents and the experience of poverty for different people;
  • Share knowledge, skills and resources with local residents participating in the program in an organic way over the 10 session course; and
  • Take their learning back to their families, churches, friends and workplaces in a way that helps the broader community to respond more effectively to people living in poverty.

IMG_9811Other ways for groups and/or congregations to help out:

  • We are looking for groups or congregations to provide a meal for the anticipated 12 participants for one session of the 10 session program;
  • We are looking for pairs of people to provide some childcare for participants’ children whilst they engage in the program. Pairs could volunteer for one or more sessions of the 10 session program.




Click here to check out the Getting Ahead program website (from the US)