Cambridge City Council’s annual Street Aid Week is taking place from 10 to 15 October, and the council is encouraging local people to take part in raising awareness and to help raise its fundraising target for the week of £4,000, to support people to stay off the streets.
Street Aid was set up in 2016 to enable individuals to make donations to support people living on the streets by tapping their cards at payment terminals, rather than handing cash to people out and about. This allows donations to be pooled into larger grants to better help people to stay off the streets.
How to support Street Aid Week
- People can donate to Street Aid online at any time; use a payment card at one of a number of fixed terminals dotted around the city centre; or text STREETAID 3 to 70085 to donate £3.
- Stop by the Street Aid stall at Cambridge’s Market to find out more about Street Aid and meet the support services helping individuals to move away from a street based lifestyle, from 9am to 3pm, Monday 10 to Friday 14 October.
- Cheer on the council’s Community Safety Manager, Keryn, as she Braves the Shave, shaving her head live to raise money for Street Aid, from 1pm on Friday 14 October at the Grand Arcade (hair will be donated to children’s cancer charity The Little Princess Trust). Or donate to support Keryn online.
- Stop by the Grafton Centre to talk to the team and partner agencies about Street Aid and the help available to those on the streets, from 10am to 3pm on Saturday 15 October.
- Look out for Street Aid illuminations at The Guildhall throughout the week as a show of support for the event.
To date, over £150,000 has been raised, with 100% of all donations provided as grants to individuals to help them move off the streets for good. The grants have helped 600 people so far, through:
- Access to training, work equipment or business startup costs;
- Purchasing furniture, appliances, or flooring, or covering rental deposits or debt arrears;
- Buying bicycles or other transport, or clothes, shoes, laptops and phones;
- Helping people to reconnect with families, to seek counselling or to secure ID documents.
Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “Street Aid is a really valuable part of the support that is on offer to people in Cambridge, helping people to move away from the streets and turn a corner in their lives for good. Please take a look at the events taking place this week and show your support – why not come and cheer on Keryn as she shaves her head, and help us to raise awareness of the scheme and the support we offer?
“We’d like to hit our £4,000 fundraising target too and, although we know many in the city are starting to feel the effects of the cost of living crisis, some may feel able to make a donation. Others may have a fundraising idea in mind yourself.
“Whatever you can offer will help, as every penny enables us to make a difference in someone’s life – along with our partner services including Jimmy’s, Wintercomfort, Cyreniens and the Street Outreach team. Thanks to the ongoing support from Cambridge Business Improvement District in helping with the running costs of Street Aid, to ensure 100% of donations go directly to those who need it most.”