Shoppers wishing to give money to help rough sleepers in one city are now able to do so – using electronic contactless donation points.
Pedestrians in Bristol city centre can use their bank cards to make a £2 donation instead of scrabbling around for loose change.
The money will be used to fund a Safer Off the Streets (SOS) campaign which was set up to raise £100,000 for four night shelters offering 70 emergency bed shelters.
The project is a joint effort between charities St Mungo’s, The Julian Trust, Caring in Bristol and Crisis Centre Ministries, working with the city council.
Nearly half the target amount has been reached, but this week two paypoints were installed in prominent positions in the shopping precinct, donated by the Broadmead Business Improvement District (BID).
David Ingerslev, Project Manager at St Mungo’s and Rough Sleeping Partnership lead, said: “The campaign has raised nearly £40,000 and we are pleased with the support from the community.
“We are delighted the Broadmead BID has donated the use of the units to us.
“There is nothing else like this in Bristol.
“They will make donating easier for shoppers who may not carry small change but who feel compelled to take action to support people they see rough sleeping.
“It is simple, immediate and will directly help people to be safer off the streets.
“It is free for people to stay at our night shelters but we rely heavily on fundraising and volunteers.
“The donating points will help bring new support to the #SOSBristol campaign.
“We would also encourage people to continue to make referrals via StreetLink.org.uk as this helps us reach people quickly and can help us ensure no one has a second night out on the streets of Bristol.”
Jo Hawkins, from The Broadmead BID, said: “We were very keen to work with these forward-thinking charities to introduce an innovative way for people in the Broadmead area to donate to services which support homeless people.”