Contactless donations to provide direct help for Cambridge homeless

Academic centre’s first touch-and-donate ‘giving points’ will provide a more effective alternative to cash hand-outs, City Council believes.

James Hayes | 30th Jul 18
Image of person sleeping on the streets. With help from Cambridge City Council, the charity is installing two contactless ‘giving points’ for people who want to donate to help the city’s homeless.

Cambridge City Council is installing two contactless ‘giving points’ for people who want to donate to a local charity that helps the city’s homeless.

Cambridge Street Aid is part of the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, a proactive community and philanthropic organisation that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the people of the city and county. The foundation gives an alternative to handing over cash for those who want to help vulnerable people on the streets of Cambridge.

The two ‘giving point’ terminals have been installed by Cambridge City Council outside the customer service centre at Mandela House (CB2 1BY) on St Andrew’s Street, and inside the Visitor Information Centre (CB2 3AD), situated on the Peas Hill side of the Guildhall.

The new terminals mean that givers can easily donate money to Cambridge Street Aid by using their contactless debit or credit cards, or their smartphones.

According to studies by leading charities, including Thames Reach, giving cash to people on the street can significantly reduce the chances of them getting off the streets permanently, said Councillor Kevin Price, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council.

“Introducing digital contactless giving terminals is another innovative way we are working with our partners to encourage more people to give to the Cambridge Street Aid fund, to help reduce and prevent rough sleeping and the threat of homelessness,” Price added. “The generosity of people donating to Cambridge Street Aid has been fantastic, and the fund has made a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Since its launched two years ago, Cambridge Street Aid has made over 100 grants that total more than £35,000 to help give people the support, accommodation, and employment assistance they may need in order to make a positive difference to their lives.