Belfast Telegraph

Video: Belfast exhibition highlights the hard truth of poverty across the UK

By Gary Grattan

An exhibition at the Ulster Hall in Belfast has highlighted the major issue of poverty across the UK.

Entitled 'Roles We Play' - and organised by ATD (All Together in Dignity), it features photographs and accompanying biographies of people from a wide range of backgrounds currently living in poverty.

Jacqueline Fraser, of the Belfast Strategic Partnership - said the aim of the exhibition was to challenge the negative stereotypes about people who are experiencing poverty.

"It's very timely to have this exhibition in Belfast as currently around 20 per cent of people in Northern Ireland are living in poverty," she said.

A book which accompanies the exhibition features the personal stories of the people photographed.

One of them - Thomas Mayes - admitted he thought "long and hard" about getting involved in the project.

"It's hard admitting to yourself that you live in poverty - but then I realised that if I didn't make that commitment to tell my story, then why should anyone else in my position make that commitment for me?

"It can only take a small change in your lifestyle from going from above the breadline to going below the breadline," he said.

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