Visitors asked to support campaign to help people on the streets

MAKING THE CHANGE: L-R: Richard Shaw from the Sanctuary Trust, Denis Skelton from Petrus, Cllr Shaun O’Neill, Chair of the Rochdale Township, Margaret Wight from the Rochdale Foodbank and Mark Foxley, from Rochdale Town Centre Management

Giving on the street makes it easier to stay on the street, giving direct to charities helps provide longer term solutions. 

bigchangerochdale.co.uk is urging visitors to Rochdale town centre to donate online instead of giving money to people on the streets. 

The aim of the site, bigchangerochdale.co.uk, is to encourage people to donate either their time or cash to local charities, rather than giving directly to people asking for money. 

The move, which has been spearheaded by Rochdale Town Centre Management with support from the council, the police and local charities, is designed to support people begging in the town centre. 

Denis Skelton, from Petrus, one of the charities involved in the scheme, said: “The launch of this new site is really exciting because it offers people the chance to do something really positive, which will make a big difference to their community. 

“These online donations will help us give people even more help with jobs and training, counselling and advice with benefits, as well as clothing, food and help with housing. They will also help us run our supported housing scheme for vulnerable women in central Rochdale. 

“People who donate can be sure that their money will be going straight to those who need it and helping them in really practical ways.” 

The website also gives people information on practical ways they can support local charities, like Petrus, Stepping Stone Projects and the Sanctuary Trust. 

Mark Foxley, from Rochdale Town Centre Management , said: “We’re proud to have a lot of very compassionate people here in Rochdale who want to help, but sometimes giving money directly can make things worse. 

“This new site could help change the lives of people on the streets for the better and it would be great to see the people of Rochdale get behind it.” 

The new website is designed to build on the work already been done by the council and partner organisations, which includes funding emergency overnight accommodation, helping people address the issues which lead to them being on the streets, as well as commissioning specialist accommodation for people with complex needs. 

Councillor Shaun O’Neill, Chair of the Rochdale Township, said: “We have some people on our streets who are vulnerable and in need of support, but giving money to them directly isn’t a good idea. The charities are the best people to help them build a life away from the streets and by giving via this website, our residents can help them do just that.”

The new website is at: bigchangerochdale.co.uk 

20 Jun 2017