To coincide with #IDEP2020, Thrive Teesside have released a special edition version of their book, Thriving Teesside.

Thriving Teesside is a collection of stories, poetry, photography and more from a wide range of intellectual, creative and skilled members of Teesside, one of the most deprived areas of the UK.

The first book was inspired by community members feeling demonised and ignored, not valued by a wider society, wanting to show their range of skills and expertise, share their thoughts and inspire others.

Thrive decided to rerelease the book to coincide with The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and to highlight the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown on community members of Teesside.

From the Special Edition foreword,

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is an international observance celebrated each year on the 17th of October throughout the world. This day is designated to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty.

Thrive seek to do this firstly by amplifying the voices of people living in our low income communities. Our community is skilled, articulate and knowledgeable. We are key to affecting real sustainable change.

Without the voice of people with lived experience of the difficulties faced, sustainable solutions will not be found.

These certainly are extraordinary times. Our lives have been turned upside, the harsh realities of living in poverty have been amplified and we appear to have very little light at the end of the tunnel. Notwithstanding this, people in our low income communities are articulating and visualising their thoughts through the mediums they have available to them.

At a time when we are cut off from others, we are taking the time to speak out and reflect upon how the pandemic has had an influence on us. Our difficulties and frustrations are not new, but our voices are resolute, to be valued and listened to. Our insight is invaluable.

Here are some brilliant examples of poetry and artwork from the book:

The special edition version of the book is available to read on Thrive’s website.