Experience Guildford rolls out ATCM ‘Have a Heart – Give Smart’ campaign
10th January 2018
Experience Guildford, the town’s Business Improvement District, is rolling out a new initiative introduced by the Association of Town Centre Managers (ATCM) in a bid to positively change consumer behaviour towards street beggars. The ‘Have a Heart – Give Smart’ campaign, originally introduced in the City of Edmonton, Canada, helps raise awareness of the best ways to support and offer help to those that we perceive in need on our streets. The campaign centres on encouraging people to focus their charitable giving on local charities that help tackle the complex issues associated with homelessness and rough sleeping, rather than simply giving to one individual which could further fuel their problems. These charities include those dedicated to mental health issues, substance abuse and shelter, all integral to supporting the health and well-being of this vulnerable sector of society.
Working in collaboration with the Safer Guildford Partnership, Experience Guildford is urging visitors and residents of Guildford to learn more about the registered charities and organisations that work in the local community to help those most in need on our streets and make a positive change for the future. A list of such organisations can be found at www.experienceguildford.com or you can donate via the following websites:
Commenting on why Experience Guildford is supporting the campaign, Amanda Masters, general manager says;
“Experience Guildford is delighted to roll out this campaign with the support of the ATCM and to ultimately help those most in need on our streets. Similar to many other towns and cities across the country, we have experienced increasing levels of street beggars and homeless on our streets, and whilst this obviously causes great concern in terms of the welfare of these individuals, our work with the Safer Guildford Partnership and related charitable organisations has made it evident that simply offering money on a person by person basis does little to solve the underlying problem or aid their recovery from the situation.
“By coordinating our efforts under this campaign we can offer the public a means to donate funds in a manner that will directly help those individuals most in need with the required professional or pastoral care.”
Commenting on the campaign’s rollout, Sarah Walker, Purple Flag/ENTE Programme Manager at ATCM adds;
“The Have a Heart – Give Smart campaign is about being compassionate to those who are vulnerable in our town and city centres, supporting local charities and safe spaces rather than giving money directly to the homeless and rough sleepers in areas. This allows us to offer the support and care that will tackle the complex underlying issues that contribute to homelessness.”
Look out for posters and flyers around the town highlighting the new campaign and how to donate, or visit www.experienceguildford.com for more information.