A NORTH-EAST poverty charity has joined forces with similar organisations across the country to create an animation to help others understand the challenges of living on the breadline.

Thrive Teesside, based at the Newtown Resource Centre in Stockton, is working with charities in Leeds and London to help address what it describes as incorrect stereotypes about people living in poverty, as well as using examples from real life experiences to help change national and local policies.

By engaging with others in similar circumstances, the three charities have tried to come up with solutions to poverty and its associated impacts.

These include making sure the voices of people in poverty are better heard, improving housing and community support and addressing issues tied to low incomes.

They now want other groups and individuals around the country to join with them, and they want policymakers to listen to those who know these circumstances best - people with actual experience of living in poverty.

Tracey Herrington, project Manager at Thrive Teesside, said: “It was important for us to visualise our journey, to speak out about the things that matter and use our knowledge and experience to affect real, meaningful change.

“As Martin Luther King Jr said, 'our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter’.”

The animation begins by pointing out that millions of people in modern Britain are living in poverty, and that doing so can sometimes “feel like banging your head against a brick wall”.

Dr Ruth Patrick, from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, facilitated the project – which is called Poverty to Security – and organised the collaboration between Thrive, London-based ATD Fourth World and Leeds-based Dole Animators .

"It is about recognising that people who have direct experiences of poverty and social insecurity, have insight and ideas about what would make a difference to address these problems in the UK," she said.

Ms Herrington, who has been part of Thrive since 2012, added: "Developing partnerships and building the capacity of members of the community to tackle areas of social injustice are underpinning values and pivotal to the work of Thrive.

"It’s a difficult time for people and the issues that continue to keep people in poverty seem to be growing all the time.

"Barriers to full participation are ever more prevalent and it is through support from organisations like Thrive, that people have hope."

To find out more about the Poverty Solutions project, visit www.poverty2security.org.

To view the animation, you can find it on YouTube or search the hashtag #makingvoicescount.