A contactless donation scheme which aims to put an end to homelessness in Chester has been launched on World Homelessness Day.

Payment terminals will be set up in the city where people can tap to donate £3 with the money being distributed between three Chester charities; Chester Aid to the Homeless (CATH), Share and Soul Kitchen.

The ‘End Homelessness’ scheme will be hosted by The Chester Bluecoat Charity who will ensure that 100% of the money donated will go directly to support homeless people in the city.

Neil Davies, chair of trustees at The Chester Bluecoat Charity said: “The Chester Bluecoat Charity is delighted to be part of the End Homelessness project. The unique tap to donate system will make charitable giving easier and hopefully will raise lots of funds that will make a real difference to the lives of those experiencing homelessness in Chester.”

Chester Aid to the Homeless (CATH) have supported people in crisis in Chester since their inception more than 50 years ago.

Robert Whittall, CEO of CATH said: “We’ve seen a lot of changes in the ways people want to donate throughout the history of working in the charity sector, plus a lot of changes to the financial assistance received by people in crisis. It’s our job to ensure that no matter what, people have the support, encouragement and the safety net they need to enable them to get through their crisis and go on to live meaningful, fulfilling lives.”

Robert added: The ‘End Homelessness’ tap-to-donate scheme brings Chester in line with a number of larger cities in the UK, and indeed the world, making it so much simpler for our increasingly cashless society to donate to charity and we are very pleased to be able to be a part of this revolutionary move for the city.”

The scheme will launch with two contactless terminals, with more being added over time. One will be set up in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre and a second will be available in Place for Art Chester (PACh) located at 47, Northgate Street.

Monies donated by the public will also be used by volunteer organisation Soul Kitchen to help them to continue their work to provide food and support to anyone experiencing loneliness, food poverty or homelessness in Chester.

Steve Brew, Trustee from Soul Kitchen said: “We are proud to have been chosen to be a part of this new scheme that allows the public to donate to the homeless in a proactive and positive way. Soul Kitchen plan to use funding from the scheme primarily to support the up-skilling and training of people through our weekly cookery ‘Soul in a Bowl’ sessions which have been a fantastic way for us to build relationships whilst cooking and eating together.”

The Homeless Day Centre, on City Road, founded by Share, currently provides aid such as clothing and toiletries, as well as support and signposting to services for accommodation and employment.

Share intend to use the donations made by the public through the ‘End Homelessness’ scheme to help continue their work at The Homeless Day Centre.

Share founder Adam Dandy said: “Many people experiencing homelessness have complex needs which have led them to becoming homeless, including mental health problems, drug and alcohol dependencies and negative institutional experiences.

“The longer someone sleeps rough, the greater the impact this can have on their physical and mental health which will only worsen their situation. Cash donated in kind by members of the public can sometimes be used in harmful ways, so the new scheme is a very direct way to assure donors that their money is being used in a well-structured manner.”

The scheme has the full support of Chester BID and Cheshire West and Chester Council, however full governance will stay with the fundraiser, The Chester Bluecoat Charity.

The Chester Bluecoat Charity will agree with the charities involved how the money should be spent in relation to the work they do supporting those experiencing homelessness.

Allocating the money will always be agreed together so that the most is made from the funding received to help those experiencing homelessness and a full report will be made annually by The Chester Bluecoat Charity for the public to see, to the last penny, where their donations have been used.

For more information email endhomelessness@thechesterbluecoatcharity.co.uk

or to donate directly to the charities go to: Chester Aid to the Homeless,  

Soul Kitchen

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