Working together to support vulnerable and homeless people in the Wakefield district

You may already know that the Wakefield district has been part of the Street Support Network since 2019. This year, the partner organisations involved wanted to improve the offer by providing an easy-to-use alternative giving platform.

Safer Together (Wakefield’s Community Safety Partnership) agreed to fund the Investors in Community (IIC) platform so that it could be integrated with the existing Street Support Network website. Thanks to some brilliant partnership working, the end result is a user-friendly web page. It showcases the efforts of fantastic local charities, making it simple for anyone to donate to these great causes.  

What is alternative giving?

Alternative giving encourages people to give in a way that will have the biggest possible impact, with the ultimate aim of ending homelessness.

The focus is on providing long-term solutions for people who need help to transform their lives. Here in Wakefield, donations will be used by organisations to make lasting impacts such as getting rough sleepers into housing, giving people advice on receiving benefits, and making sure support is available to people with drug or alcohol addictions – rather than just helping people to survive on the streets short-term.

How does the site work?

Using the Street Support Network website, individuals and businesses can ‘find help and give help’ by browsing a range of local charity organisations. With the new IIC platform it’s now possible to make a donation of money to a chosen local charity. Funding by the CSP means that 100% of all the money raised goes to the charities, with no additional costs.

People can also donate needed items or volunteer to help organisations, either as an individual or for businesses looking to deliver on their corporate social responsibility. This means that local charities are getting the funding and items they need to give vulnerable and homeless people with the right support, at the right time.

After just a few days of the website going live, we’ve already raised just under £800. This is fantastic news especially considering the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on many in the charity sector.

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Communities, and Poverty said: “2020 has been a challenging year for everyone but the Safer Together partnership hasn’t forgotten about vulnerable and homeless people in our district. As the country finds itself in another lockdown, the support for these charities is going to be more important than ever. This is a fantastic example of partnership working and demonstrates a commitment across our district to connecting organisations, individuals, charities, and community groups to work together for the common good.”

Support our campaign

Everyone can do something to help, from giving a donation of money to simply sharing a post on Facebook or Twitter.

Look out for our campaign at bus shelters and digital screens at shopping centres where the artwork encourages people to ‘do something amazing’ by giving money, items or time. A QR code links straight to the website, allowing a donation to be made in a matter of minutes. Why not consider giving a local charity an extra present this Christmas?

If you’re not able to donate at this time, you can still support the campaign by liking, sharing and retweeting posts made as part of the social media campaign.

Gary Dunstan, Co-Founder of Street Support Network, said; “Due to COVID-19, more people are now facing hardship and homelessness; and local charities need the help of businesses and the public to help vulnerable people in Wakefield. We hope that this new partnership can capture all the kindness there is locally in Wakefield and direct it to where it is needed.”

Search #FindHelpGiveHelp on social media to find out more.

If you would like some creative ideas to help with your alternative giving campaign, the team at Wakefield have kindly shared their creative assets here