A new campaign has been unveiled in Torbay which encourages residents and tourists to think about how they donate to help the homeless.
The Torquay Town Centre Partnership and Torbay Council campaign 'Change: Make It Count' gives people other options to donate - which, it says, will help those who are begging, instead of giving it to them on the street.
John Doherty, Vice Chairman of the Town Centre Partnership, said "The town centre business owners wanted to be proactive in supporting the street homelessness agenda and to do something that will really help people when they move into a new home.
"By donating direct to the organisations working to do this, residents will know their money will be used positively and will be used to help set them up with everyday household items.
"All of the money donated via this campaign will benefit a homeless person direct.
"Anyone who is sleeping rough can access food, drink, clothing and washing facilities through existing agencies and the voluntary groups who work hard to help support people on the streets.
"With the end goal of moving people into long term accommodation in mind, we wanted to find a way of helping to support them take that step and we think our campaign will do just that”.
"The agencies who are signed up to the wider TESH campaign and who work alongside statutory and commissioned services to support the homeless are backing the Change: Make it Count campaign. Moving from the street into long term accommodation is a huge step and providing day to day essentials that most people take for granted helps people to make that move."
Cllr Cindy Stocks, Executive Lead for Housing said "None of us can help but notice the numbers of people begging in the streets, not only in Torbay but everywhere else in the country.
"With the council working hard to find permanent accommodation for those in most need, and for whom we have a duty to house, the next step is to support them to move on.
"This takes time and ongoing support to achieve and can’t be addressed by merely putting a roof over their heads. This campaign will help on a very practical level to take some of the stress out of what can be a huge life change."
The campaign is also supported by the police and three High Street Banks: Nat West, Lloyds and Nationwide.
Sarah Adams and Jo Barham, Branch Managers of NatWest in Torquay, said: "NatWest Torquay are proud and committed to supporting the Town Centre Partnership campaign, CHANGE: Make it Count. This is because we believe it is important to make a difference within our local community.
"We are therefore really pleased that NatWest will match fund any charity work that we and our staff in branch complete to support this campaign within our local community."
- To donate click here
- For a report which says £918,800 investment is needed to 'reach a point where Torbay homelessness levels would plateau' click here
- For more about hopes in Torbay to get Government funds to tackle the issue, click here
- For more on life on the streets of Torbay and how some are exploited by criminals click here
- For more about the woman 'adopting Torbay's homeless click here
- For more about the reasons for a rise in homelessness in Torbay, click here
- For "He saved my life," the homeless person given a chance, click here
- Claims homeless "get arrested to survive cold nights" as snow and ice arrives click here
- Protest as "you don't have permission to feed the homeless" click here
- For the controversial Torquay Fake Homeless campaign click here
Click play to hear John Doherty, Vice Chairman of the Town Centre Partnership, speaking to reporter Andrew Kay