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Cambridge Street Aid has raised £15,000 to help homeless people in the city - here's what the money has bought

By Ben Comber

The fund was launched by the city council with aims of helping people get off, or stay off the streets.

Generous residents, businesses and visitors to Cambridge have donated more than £15,000 to Cambridge Street Aid.

Cambridge Street Aid, which was launched before Christmas, was set up to give people wanting to help people on the streets an alternative to handing over cash directly to them.

Studies have suggested that the generous donation of cash by members of the public can sometimes hamper people getting off the streets if money from begging is spent on alcohol or drugs.

Cllr Kevin Price, executive councillor for housing, said: “Cambridge Street Aid gives us a way to support people without the risk that comes with giving directly to someone on the street.

“I have been delighted and touched by the generosity of local people and other donors. For example, one resident raised more than a £1000 for Street Aid by running the Cambridge marathon, and several others donated their winter fuel payments. One donor said that he come across a Street Aid poster having seen a number of people begging and ‘wanted to be part of the solution’.

“The response to Street Aid in just over six months shows what a caring community we have in Cambridge and I want to thank everyone who has made a contribution, however large or small.”

Every penny of the money donated to Cambridge Street Aid is allocated towards grants of up to £750 to help vulnerable people on the streets get the support, accommodation and employment they need to turn a corner in their life.

The money donated is now starting to change people’s lives, with more than £5000 having been paid out in grants, including:

For a bicycle to help a formerly homeless man travel to a new job

To pay for a suit and shoes for someone starting a round of job interviews

Towards sports equipment for people wishing to put an unhealthy street-based life behind them

To enable someone to obtain a construction certificate so they can work on building sites

For household equipment to give someone a fresh start in a new tenancy

To enable someone to purchase a passport to help them visit their estranged family

For more information or to donate visit the Cambridge Street Aid JustGiving page.


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