27/01/20 – Press release
Generous members of the public in Bristol have helped to raise £10K to support homeless people through the city’s new contactless donation scheme, TAP for Bristol, less than four months after its launch.
The organisation that has spearheaded the innovative new project, Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) is keen that the funds are put to good use as soon as possible so they have opened the first call for grant applications from organisations working with homeless people, through their partner, Quartet Community Foundation, which is administering the whole scheme.
Half of the funding will be available to local charities, organisations and community groups to support named individuals into safer and more stable lives away from the streets. This emergency support will provide personal budgets to help people experiencing homelessness issues, such as funds for travelling to job interviews, supporting access to education and rehabilitative courses or buying a bike to get to and from work.
The other half will made available to Caring in Bristol to carry out its life-changing homelessness prevention work, making this the first scheme in the country to raise money to support people at risk of homelessness as well as people in need of emergency support.
Caring in Bristol will use the money to deliver new homeless prevention and early intervention support services to people who are vulnerable to becoming homeless. This will include training a new group of volunteers working in partnership with local debt and housing advice agencies to give additional, timely support to those at risk of becoming street homeless.
Vicky Lee, project lead for TAP for Bristol at Bristol City Centre BID says:
“We want to say a huge thank you to the people of Bristol for their generosity in donating money for this innovative scheme to tackle homelessness in our city. Now that we’ve reached our first £10K milestone, we are putting that money to good use and making a positive impact on one of the most pressing issues in Bristol so we’d urge organisations working on the frontline with those who are street homeless to apply for grants.
“The fact the money has been raised so quickly is a real cause for celebration. If donations continue at the current rate, we’ll be raising £10K every 10 weeks which will mean we can make a really significant difference to helping people move away from life on the streets. We hope that success will breed success and that more people will now be inspired to support the scheme and get tapping!”
Bristol now has 20 ‘TAP for Bristol’ contactless donation points around the city centre raising £1,000 per week to support homeless people. This is believed to be the fastest growing donation system of any city after dozens of business and organisations have come forward to request a TAP for Bristol point on their premises.
TAP for Bristol offers a simple choice to donate, safe in the knowledge that every penny will be used to tackle homelessness through both prevention work and emergency support. TAP points are installed in windows and on hand-held devices at twenty locations across the city centre.
Ben Richardson, director of Caring in Bristol and a partner in the TAP for Bristol scheme added:
“Thanks to the generosity of the people of Bristol, who have really embraced the new TAP for Bristol contactless donation points, we have hit our first fundraising target incredibly quickly which has released the first investment for our new homelessness prevention programme.
“The single biggest reason for people becoming homeless in Bristol is to the loss of a private rental tenancy and our newly-trained volunteers and advisors will work with individuals at risk to give them additional advice and support to help them keep their homes.”
TAP for Bristol is the UK’s first-ever contactless donation system to raise money for homelessness prevention services as well as directly supporting people who are currently homeless.
TAP for Bristol aims to help make Bristol the city that solves homelessness. The scheme launched in September last year and raises funds through its contactless donation points where people can tap their credit or debit card to donate £3. The funds are divided equally between Caring in Bristol and local frontline services facilitated by the Quartet Community Foundation which is managing, monitoring and evaluating all donations.