PEOPLE from a York homeless centre have spoken out in a series of videos about the voices politicians need to listen to in this election.

Charities Church Action on Poverty, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and the Poverty Alliance have together run the "Voices from the Margins" project, so people in poverty have their voices properly heard.

Julie Jarman, project manager at Church Action on Poverty, said: "The Voices From The Margins project has enabled voices that might otherwise have remained unheard to be given the prominence they deserve.

"Those who have experienced or witnessed poverty first hand must always be at the centre of anti-poverty efforts and policies."

In York, the project visited Carecent to talk to people who use the centre for homeless and unemployed people.

Among the people there was Michael Webster, who said politicians need to stop obsessing about Brexit and instead think about children and young people.

Michael said: "Every time I turn on the news it’s all about Brexit. They need to focus more on the children of this country. They’re the future. There needs to be more investment in kids, kids’ facilities, parks for children so they’re not hanging around, and they need to focus a lot more on housing. That’s a massive issue here in York. The housing’s not affordable. It’s not a real life. I meet people in hostels and they cannot get flats."

Another service user Mary Nelson (not her real name) added: "This election should be about real people and equality, beginning with the little people; the poor. Everything needs to be equal and fair for everybody. I wouldn’t say it’s like that now.

"It would be good for MPs to find out about real people and what’s going on. Everyone is an individual with individual needs."

Michael, Mary and others at Carecent spoke of the things they want politicians to focus on after the election - from housing to benefits to jobs.

Graham Feetenby said: "When I was at school York had the carriageworks, two chocolate factories, a glass factory. There were a lot of opportunities for people who maybe weren’t so well educated to earn employment. Not now. And a lot of places are very similar."

The benefits systems needs to be simplified, he added, while Mark Smith added the current health systems "stinks" and needs to be sorted out.

In York mental health care in particular needs help, since Bootham Park hospital closed at short notice.

Stuart Laville added: “In York the issues are homelessness and housing. We need more support. Also Bootham Park Hospital needs to be replaced. There are families travelling to Bradford or Leeds or other places and they cannot afford to go to see their family. They need to bring back better mental health services. And when people are homeless, help them get somewhere to live."