Training Course: The Biology of Poverty  


The training course is a deep-dive into the effects of poverty on the human body using the latest scientific and social research.

It is tailored to a general level of understanding and people do not need a background in science to participate.

The course typically lasts about two hours and includes time for staff to discuss their latest work streams and consider their approach in light of their new understanding.


Topics which are covered in the training include:

  • Traumatic brain injury  

  • Epigenetics - How poverty affects our DNA

  • The Neuroscience of poverty - How poverty affects the brain

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and treatments

  • Addiction

  • Obesity and Ultra Processed Foods  

  • Touch Hunger and social isolation  

  • The impact of stress and inflammation on the human body.

  • How poverty affects rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

  • Sleep deprivation and shift work.  

  • The impact of poverty on education and learning.

  • Cannabis and the growing body

  • Caring work

  • Shame and social attitudes to poverty
  • How our economy is affected by the biology of poverty.


Breakout groups then discuss their current or future areas of work, and consider the following:


  • How can the learning be applied to your work?
  • How does the learning make you think differently or more holistically?
  • What are the quick wins and longer-term ideas?

We feedback to the wider group and have a broader discussion.

Then we conclude with a list of the next steps that the group or the organisation can take forward and a feedback form.


I create bespoke packages if there are particular areas you would like to focus on.



The mental health charity Mind found the training particularly useful in helping their staff gain a deeper understanding of their subject area and reshape their approach to poverty in the future:


"Mind is working to tackle the two-way link between mental health and poverty. To do this, it's essential that we hear different ideas and perspectives - Helen Rowe provided an engaging and informative talk for all staff on her book 'Eliminating Poverty in Britain' and a deep dive training on the effects of poverty on the human body. Helen presented an abundance of fascinating insights, ideas and inspiration for our work around Poverty - it's been a pleasure to collaborate with her." 

Errin Norton-Brown, Strategic Change Lead for Poverty and Social Exclusion, Mind, October 2023.



The training costs £40 per person and includes travel expenses.

However, I provide lower training rates for schools and not-for-profit organisations. 

Please contact me through this website and we can discuss your requirements further. Looking forward to it! 

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