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Homeless charity in Cambridge providing more support after £20 note burning stunt

Jimmys Night Shelter, 1 East Rd, Cambridge, CEO Henry Brown . Picture: Keith Heppell
Jimmys Night Shelter, 1 East Rd, Cambridge, CEO Henry Brown . Picture: Keith Heppell

Jimmy's of Cambridge inundated with cash donations

A Cambridge homeless charity, which was inundated with donations in response to a student burning a £20 note in front of a rough sleeper, is using the money to provide additional support.

In February, a law student at Pembroke College, Cambridge, was filmed on Snapchat burning the money.

Thousands of pounds was then subsequently donated to Jimmy’s Cambridge via an online fundraising page.

The donations have given the charity the opportunity to provide a dedicated trained member of staff for a four-month period to head out onto the streets.

Jimmy’s chief executive officer Henry Brown said it had taken some time to decide how best to use the money.

“The route from front door to street floor can be all too quick, the route back is often difficult and problematical, but with this extra dedicated resource, Jimmy’s is looking to encourage more individuals off the streets,” he said.

The dedicated staff member will join other agencies, who are already supporting rough sleepers. It is hoped that they can build relationships with those individuals as well as demystify the myths they have in relation to getting access to Jimmy’s.

The donations have also allowed for four additional bed spaces in the Assessment Centre to be created, which will support 16 extra rough sleepers over the four-month period.

Mr Brown added: “It was the way we could help get more people off the street, which is ultimately what we’ve been able to do with the generous funds that we received.”

The extra beds are in addition to the centre’s 22 beds, enabling the charity to source accommodation options for more than 60 guests in a typical four-month period.

Communications officer Barry Griffiths added: “It’s quite difficult to turn positive thoughts into affirmative action and that’s what the community did. It wasn’t people saying that’s dreadful and we’re going to comment on it – people actually did something because they recognised that there is an issue in Cambridge and they wanted to help solve it.”

He continued: “We can’t thank the public enough for their generosity in support of a very real issue here in Cambridge.

“Without the help and kindness of the local and wider communities, the skill and dedication of our staff and volunteers, support from our partner agencies, this additional service would not have been possible.

“For over 21 years Jimmy’s has been proud to be able to offer hope and support to people who find themselves in a time of need. With this extra provision, we will build stronger relationships, we will offer more support and we will strive to reduce current numbers of people sleeping rough in our city.”

Jimmy’s helps rough sleepers resettle into suitable and stable accommodation.

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