Good evening Oxford, Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Oliver Herrmann, I am a member of the debate team at Oxford University and I’ve been looking forward to this very moment for a long time.
First, let me thank you for granting me the opportunity to speak at such a well-organized and relevant event that is the Oxford Schools Regional Debate Competition.
It is truly an honor! Tonight, I will talk about what in my opinion is one of the more overlooked taboos here in Great Britain; Poverty.
Correct me if I’m wrong when I describe the following situation. when we are all strolling down the street minding our own business, on the way back from class or on the way home from work, we do not realize how many of our fellow Englishmen that are living in extreme poverty.
Access to basic food is a fundamental human right and the UK has always been committed to acknowledging the several international treaties regarding this.
Therefore, one can wonder why tens of thousands of families do not have the necessary needs to provide food for their families and thus seek help from various independent food banks.
Would you believe me if I told you that almost a fifth of the population lives in poverty and as a result of that, needs help? That is almost 14 million people!4 Over the past decade, the UK’s main food bank network has experienced a fifty-fold increase.
From distributing just under 26,000 parcels a year to handing out more than 1.3 million5. And if this is not enough to convince you, I might as well inform you of the fact that the poverty increase is not only affecting grown-ups and adults, but also children across the UK.
Children younger than us answering, when asked what their biggest wish is, that all they want is heat, food, a roof over my head, and just somebody to love me 6.