Supporting local people off the streets through ‘Change for Good’ is about to get easier

To date over £10,000 has been raised by kind donations to a new fund called ‘Change for Good’. Local people across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have given because they want to help individuals who have been sleeping rough to make a positive move off the street and access the support they need.

‘Change for Good’ is run by the Homelessness Partnership for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole made up of local charities, businesses and public sector organisations. Donations can currently be made via the Just Giving page but the partnership want to raise the profile of the scheme and make it even simpler for local people to be able to make a donation whilst out and about in town.

Work is underway to set up ‘giving points’ across Bournemouth and Poole town centres where local people can simply tap a payment card at a designated donation point to be able to make a set donation of £3 to help local people off the streets and prevent rough sleeping. The whole 100% donation is guaranteed to help homeless people locally. It is hoped that a number of contact points will be installed at town centre locations across Bournemouth and Poole starting in the next few weeks.

The initiative follows as more than 400 people over the last year, who were rough sleeping or precariously housed have been helped into emergency accommodation by the council and its partners through the ‘Everyone In’ initiative.

The partnership has also supported 118 people make positive moves from there into more secure longer-term housing. The funding raised by ‘Change for Good’ goes direct to local charities who work direct with people who are escaping homelessness complementing the statutory support by the council.

Alistair Doxat-Purser, chair of the Partnership Forum, said: “As COVID-19 restrictions ease and the high streets open up, the partnership is raising the profile of ‘Change for Good’ to give members of the public an alternative way of helping those who are seeking to escape homelessness.

“Change for Good and the generosity of local people had already made a big difference to people’s. For many people, they don’t have even the bare essentials to turn four walls into a home,” he explained.

“That’s where “Change for Good” comes in: generous members of the public have gone to our Just Giving page and raised funds that local charities are able to use to help individuals continue their journey away from the street.

“The first successful application for funds helped an individual in temporary accommodation to move into their own independent accommodation by providing basics like a fridge/freezer.

“This in turn opened up a space for someone who had been on the street to move into their now empty space in temporary accommodation – a double win. Other applications have included 1 to 1 coaching with a trauma support worker, equipment for day-time support activities, phone power-banks, and replacing identification: anything to help a person make a new start.

“100% of donations made via the Change for Good giving points will be guaranteed to support a homeless person directly.”

Chairman of the Bournemouth Town Centre BID, Martin Davies said: “We are really proud to be supporting Change for Good.

“We know that many people have been facing tough times on this streets and this is an incredibly positive initiative to help them access the support services they need.”

“Change for Good is an excellent way of helping them do just that and the Town Centre BID is delighted to give its full backing.”