Real Change Not Loose Change
You can help the homeless by making Real Change happen
The Real Change Not Loose Change campaign has raised over £60,000 since 2016 to support homeless people off the streets and accessing support in Basingstoke and Deane.
Following its success, the Social Inclusion Partnership, which brings together a range of specialist, voluntary, statutory, faith and community groups all working to reduce homelessness in the borough together, is now building on the commitment shown by local people, businesses and organisations by launching a year-round initiative to support rough sleepers.
This will highlight the local services, initiatives and charities which support the most vulnerable and socially excluded people in the borough.
The campaign has raised money for the Basingstoke Night Light Winter Shelter, which runs from December through to the end of February and is as well as the Basingstoke Time Bank and The Camrose Centre.
The Real Change not Loose Change campaign is encouraging local people to help raise money, as an alternative to giving directly to people on the streets, donating money or by holding fundraising events in the community. Cake bakes and dress down days are two great ideas for raising money.
Other ways to help the homeless include volunteering your time to help out or by donating items such as food, clothing and toiletries.
The winter shelter will run seven nights a week and will offer hot food and a cosy bed, as well as company and access to community support. It is run by a network of trained and dedicated volunteers, who provide a warm welcome to those most in need, at various churches across the town.
To donate, look out for the Real Change donation pots in public places in and around the town centre, follow on Facebook and Twitter @realchangebas or give online at https://app.thegoodexchange.com/project/12499/basingstoke-voluntary-action/real-change-for-basingstoke-2018---night-light-winter-shelter
Cllr Terri Reid said: "After the fundraising closed earlier this year we continued to receive lots of offers of donations and so we decided to make it an ongoing campaign to support local homelessness charities and organisations in the borough all year round.
“In addition to fundraising, we also hope more local people will give their time to help out or make donations of practical items. By making it a year-round initiative, the borough’s homeless people will receive practical help and encouragement to give them a good chance to make a new start.”
Cllr Reid added: “Thank you to all the individuals, schools, groups, communities and companies who have already shown overwhelming commitment to the campaign – we hope even more people will now raise awareness and get involved. Together we can make a difference.”
If you are worried about someone sleeping rough, please contact Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or visit www.streetlink.org.uk.
To find out more about the Social Inclusion Partnership and the Real Change Not Loose Change campaign visit www.realchangebasingstoke.org.uk.