HANDFORTH Railway Station is exhibiting a unique and rare collection of poetry written by the homeless community living on the streets of Manchester.

Outreach worker Ged Austin, who is known as The Urban Poet, encouraged the rough sleepers to tell their own stories in poetry, working alongside them running small workshops in the doorways and colder places.

These rare stories archive who the homeless are, how they got there, and how they feel about life.

Ged has won the trust of these homeless people during the years, and has personally supported them with clothing, much-needed provisions, and advice about support services they can access.

On display at Handforth Railway Station is a selection of the nearly 100 poems he has collected, over the past five years, from the streets of Piccadilly and beyond Manchester city centre.

Also on display are photographs of the life and hard times these people endure on the streets of Manchester.

Knutsford Guardian:

The Handforth ticket office display

The exhibition reveals the poverty that can overwhelm people who slip through this country’s social net.

Ged said: "The aim of these poems and photos is to show the real human beings behind the arbitrarily-assigned labels of beggar, addict, prostitute.

“We want to break down stereotyping, showing, for example, how the homeless support each other on the lonely streets. Everyone needs to be aware this could happen to anyone if fate is unkind.

“Sadly, many people are still dying on the streets of Manchester and surrounding areas, but we must always work to help people out of poverty and back into society.”

Knutsford Guardian:

Hugh Everett, from the Friends of Handforth Station (FoHS) who commissioned this arts project, said: “Our projects at the station normally cover railway-based artwork.

“In this case, we are keen to promote the community aspects of our work, and do what we can to support the less-privileged members of our society.”

Further details of FoHS can be found at handforthstation.org.uk