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Council to launch cashless support for rough sleepers

LOCAL ELECTION: How parties would tackle homelessness

A new cashless donation scheme to help end rough sleeping launches in the Royal Borough on Monday. 

Residents and visitors will be able to support rough sleepers by donating to the council's rough sleeper pathway.

This will be done by using 'Tap 4 Lasting Change' contactless donation points in Ascot, Eton, Maidenhead and Windsor.

The council hopes this will provide more effective help for rough sleepers as opposed to giving spare change to people living on the streets. 

Donations raised will fund individually tailored support programmes for rough sleepers to help them make real life changes as part of a three-stage process:

  • Stage 1 - identify what support each former rough sleeper will need from the programme
  • Stage 2 – put the individual programme of accommodation and support in place, including the appropriate interaction from wider agencies
  • Stage 3 – assist the former rough sleeper into sustainable independent accommodation 

Councillor Ross McWilliams (Con, Cox Green) lead member for housing, said: “Here in the Royal Borough, we’re seeking to provide the kind of support that will lead to long-term solutions to the problems faced by rough sleeping, and our new Tap 4 Lasting Change scheme will play an important role in that. 

“Giving spare change to someone begging or sleeping rough on the street might seem like an easy way to help but the relief is temporary, and it doesn’t help create lasting change.

"Our new Tap 4 Lasting Change scheme means residents and visitors can directly donate to help support long-term change for rough sleepers throughout the borough.

“The money donated will be monitored and distributed to our support agencies through the Homelessness Forum, helping address the needs of former rough sleepers on the pathway.

"These services can include counselling, voluntary sector befriending, meals, showers, drug and alcohol detox centres, training in budgeting and cooking, apprenticeships and help in finding work.

“All of this is designed to find the best way of helping rough sleepers leave behind the dangerous world of life on the streets, and to support them into making the transition into supported accommodation and independent living.

“Our priorities are to support our rough sleepers off the streets, to help people in need through our housing service, to work with our charitable and wider partners to get swift support to people who need it, and to deliver long-term housing solutions. At all times our approach is underpinned by our core values of compassion, thoroughness and cooperation.”

The contactless donation points take all major credit cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay and the amount people can donate is fixed at £3 per tap.

From launch day on December 21, donation points can be found as follows:

Ascot: Chewton Rose Estate Agents, 41 High Street, Ascot SL5 7HG
Eton: Popeye Grooming, 68 High Street, Eton SL4 6AA
Maidenhead: Hard Edge, 98 High Street, Maidenhead SL6 1PT
Windsor: Dr Chocs, 23 Thames Street, Windsor SL4 1PL

Residents can find out more about the new cashless donation scheme on the council website by clicking here.

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