THE first ever Street Aid Week is taking place next week (Mon 14-Fri 18 October) to raise awareness and money for Cambridge Street Aid, the charitable fund supported by Cambridge City Council.
The aim is to raise £2,500 during Street Aid Week so the scheme can give grants to 10 more people to help them get off, and stay off, the streets.
Since Street Aid launched in November 2016, 250 people have now received Street Aid grants totalling more than £66,000. Street Aid grants are given to people who are – or have been – on the streets in Cambridge, to help them leave the streets behind.
To make it as easy as possible for people to donate to the fund, eight more contactless giving points will launch across Cambridge during Street Aid Week. This will see the number of Cambridge Street Aid contactless points more than double, from six to 14.
Contactless donation points enable people to donate £3 to the Street Aid fund using their contactless debit or credit cards or smartphones. The new contactless giving points will be in:
- Co-op stores on Hills Road, Perne Road, Histon Road and Green End Road
- St Paul’s Church on Hills Road, the first church to install a contactless point, and
- In Queen Anne Terrace, Grafton West and Park Street car parks.
These will join the existing contactless terminals located:
- Inside the Grand Arcade shopping centre
- In the window of the council’s Customer Service Centre at Mandela House, 4 Regent Street
- In the reception of the Guildhall in Market Square
- In Co-op stores on Mill Road, Chesterton Road and in Burwell village.
As well as using the contactless donation points, it is also possible to donate to Cambridge Street Aid online by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/cambridgeshirecommunity/csa.
There will be events happening across Cambridge to mark Street Aid Week, including information stalls outside the Guildhall in Market Square, in the Grand Arcade shopping centre and at St Paul’s church on Hills Road.
Local businesses, including Nanna Mexico and Heffers Bookshop, are holding events for their staff during the week, while Go Glass is organising a glass art sale at their premises on Cherry Hinton Road, selling 50 individually designed glass sun catchers to raise money for Street Aid.
Other businesses are helping spread the word to their staff and customers, including Cambridge University Press, the Tamburlaine Hotel, and Metro Bank.
Cambridge Street Aid was established to give anyone wishing to help vulnerable people on the streets of Cambridge an alternative to handing over cash directly.
People have so far received financial help through Cambridge Street Aid for a range of purposes - from training courses and smart clothes to help them find work, to rent deposits on accommodation and furniture for new homes. Every single penny donated to Cambridge Street Aid goes directly to grants for individuals.
Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “The public’s response to Cambridge Street Aid has been wonderful since it was first launched in 2016 and the grants have played a big part in changing the lives of many people who have spent time on the streets.
“The first Street Aid Week is a great chance for people to find out more about how it works, how it has helped dozens of people, and hopefully encourage even more generous residents and visitors to donate money to help some of our most vulnerable people to get off and stay off the streets.
“Cambridge Street Aid is just one of the ways we are working with partners and other agencies to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness, and to provide vulnerable people, some of whom have very complex issues and needs, with the care and support they require.”
For more information on Cambridge Street Aid visit www.cambridge.gov.uk/alternative-giving-campaign