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Tap to Donate scheme off to a flying start!

An innovative partnership project between Julian House, Bath BID and Nationwide Building Society has raised over £1,000 in its first month.

The scheme

Launched in January, the contactless Tap to Donate point at Nationwide’s Union St branch in Bath will allow the public to give a small donation to support Bath’s street homeless – confident in the knowledge that it will be used by local agencies to help individuals to come off the streets and move on, for good.

This will help to address a common concern from the public about what they should do when they see someone begging on the streets.

How does it work?

Members of the public can simply present their contactless enabled credit or debit card and the terminal will deduct a standard £3 donation. Anyone wishing to give more can simply repeat the exercise.  All monies received will be held in the Good Start Fund.

The Good Start Fund ensures Outreach Workers are well resourced to deliver on their promises.  The money donated is accessible to people who are rough sleeping to help them come off the streets and move on – for good.  Whether it is something short term or a slightly bigger need, such as turning their room into a home,

Some examples of how the money will be used include:

  • Birth certificate, passport, driving licence
  • Welcome packs which include toiletries and sanitary products in crisis accommodation
  • New bedding and essentials when moving into supported housing
  • A new bed for a pet dog

Roanne Wootten, Operations Director for Julian House, who are managing the scheme says “The public at large are really conflicted about what they should do when they see someone begging on the street.  Their natural instinct is to help but they are also aware that any monies given might be used to fund the very issue which is keeping that person on the streets.  The sort of things this project could fund are welcome packs, which include toiletries and sanitary products in crisis accommodation, new bedding and essentials when moving into supported housing, a birth certificate, a passport or a driving licence. Fundamentally it is about the person and what they need to help them to come off the streets – it will be different for everyone.  The Good Start Fund is open to other local agencies who are providing direct support to named individuals in Bath, including DHI & The Genesis Trust.”

Allison Herbert, Chief Executive of Bath BID, is pleased to see the launch of the first of the city’s Good Start Tap to Donate points: “Many businesses express concern at the level of rough sleeping in the city centre and Good Start will be an additional way for people to help tackle one of our most pressing issues.  Increasingly, people do not carry cash and have concerns about giving directly to people begging on the streets as they do not know if they are looking at a person in genuine need.  Inviting visitors and shoppers to donate via the contactless point makes it much easier and we can all trust that our money is being managed carefully.”

Rob Burrows is the Assistant Branch Manager for Nationwide in Bath: “I believe contactless technology is the way forward.  In Bath we all have the opportunity to support vulnerable people through the great services and charities available.  This Good Start Tap to Donate point will allow more people within the local community to donate quickly and easily to make a real difference.”

Julian House is hoping that other retailers and businesses will step forward to allow the Good Start terminals to be located in their premises.  All enquiries should be directed to Cecil Weir at Julian House – cecil.weir@julianhouse.org.uk  or 01225 354652.  Further details at www.julianhouse.org.uk/goodstart