MP Andy McDonald met staff and clients at a homelessness project reaching out to some of Middlesbrough’s most marginalised people.

The Middlesbrough MP visited Positive Pathways, which is run by Depaul UK with support from the Church Urban Fund. It offers support and companionship to vulnerable people sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness, who can drop in for free tea, toast and advice on a range of subjects.

Mr McDonald spoke with people attending the drop-in session about their experiences of homelessness and the challenges they have faced trying to escape it.

He said: “I still find it hard to understand how in Middlesbrough our most vulnerable citizens have to struggle to survive. Those on our streets need to be shown particular compassion because it is clear when you talk to people how the state is letting them down and contributing to their hardship.

“The work of Depaul UK is a wonderful but, sadly, necessary lifeline for people who are finding it hard to get by and who are now being helped to get somewhere near leading a normal life.”

Service Manager Dimas Lopez said: “We were delighted to show Mr McDonald the work we do. We offer a safe space for people to come for a cup of tea, but we also win trust and can help to connect people with essential services like those offering mental health support, advice on homelessness and help with benefits.

“With the support of volunteers, we’re hoping to expand the range of activities we are able to offer clients. We’d love to hear from anyone interested in volunteering their time.”

Positive Pathways operates a free drop-in service open to all between 10am and 1pm on Mondays and Thursdays at The John Paul Centre, 55 Grange Road, Middlesbrough TS1 5AU. Tel 01642 249 782 E-mail