Businesses are being urged to support the Diverted Giving scheme set up by Taunton Deane Borough Council with the Avon and Somerset Police to help homeless people.
The Council has a collection box at the Taunton Visitor Centre in the Market House, where people can donate money directly to the local charity Open Door rather than giving to people begging on the streets.
However, more host businesses would be welcome to provide greater opportunities for people to give their spare change or make charitable donations to Open Door which is using the cash to provide meals, showers, laundry and support to rough sleepers from its base in Mount Street.
The Diverted Giving scheme is part of the ‘One Team’ multi-agency effort to minimise the causes of rough sleeping, begging, anti-social behaviour and the associated problems they create in the town centre.
Under the initiative Taunton Deane Borough Council is working with partners including the Police, Open Door, ARC (formerly Taunton Association for the Homeless), Somerset County Council and other support agencies to address the issues both proactively and reactively.
Cllr Jane Warmington, Executive Councillor for Community Leadership at TDBC, said: “The Diverted Giving scheme is an important part of our One Team work and gives people who want to help those living on the streets a chance to make a real difference. Donating to the scheme means that rather than giving money to people begging on the street, which could be used to feed harmful addictions, it can be used to provide food, clothing and washing facilities for people who are rough sleeping. Making a donation through the Diverted Giving scheme means you can be sure that your money is helping at a practical level to provide the essentials that rough sleepers really need.”
Any business that would like to sign up to the scheme should contact Andrew Hopkins, the Council’s Marketing and Place Manager, on 01823 219578 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can donate to Open Door by post or in person at 1A Mount Street, Taunton, TA1 3QB or online at www.mydonate.bt.com and search for Taunton Open Door.
There is a collection box at the Taunton Visitor Centre at the Market House in the town centre, which is open from 9.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Saturday.