The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has thanked Londoners for their generosity after they donated a record £247,742 to his winter rough sleeping campaign. The funds will be split equally between 22 London homelessness charities who came together as part of the Mayor’s campaign.
The charities will use the money for a wide range of projects including helping homeless people off the streets and into permanent housing, developing life and job skills and providing meals and emergency accommodation to the most vulnerable people.
Launched at the end of November 2018, the campaign encouraged Londoners to play their part alongside City Hall’s services for rough sleepers. Sadiq appealed to Londoners to make donations, refer rough sleepers to support services via StreetLink, and volunteer their time to homelessness charities.
For this campaign it was easier than ever to give money thanks to the roll out of ‘TAP London’ contactless donation points across the capital. The Mayor supported the installation of 91 TAP London payment points over the duration of the campaign, which raised £72,627 through individual contactless donations of three pounds. This has been complemented by £102,615 in online donations through the campaign’s GoFundMe page, and £72,500 from corporate partners to give a final total of £247,426, £50,000 more than the 2017/18 winter campaign.
Londoners have also taken direct action to help people sleeping rough over winter, with 2,550 people offering their time to homelessness charities through the volunteering opportunities available on the Mayor’s website. These volunteers have worked on projects including helping people who have been homeless to craft CVs and job applications, engaging with rough sleepers on the streets, and making nutritious meals from food donated by supermarkets.
The campaign also encouraged Londoners to let services know about rough sleepers they were concerned about through the StreetLink. The charity’s app sends details of rough sleepers to the local authority or outreach service for the area in which they’ve been seen to help connect them to support.Since the start of the campaign, StreetLink has received 19,000 referrals – more than double the number recorded during the 2017/18 winter campaign.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper, Offender and Migrants Services at St Mungo’s, said: “As a member of the London Homeless Charities Group, we want to say a huge thank you to the many generous people who have backed this campaign. The money St Mungo’s receives as one of the charities involved will go into services that help people who are tackling physical and mental health problems.
“We’d also urge people, whatever the weather, to continue to use the StreetLink app and website to help connect anyone sleeping rough with their local services so that with the right support at the right time, we and other homelessness services can support people to move away from the streets for good.”
Katie Whitlock, TAP London co-founder, said: “We have had over 20,000 people engage with us, raising over £73,500 in partnership with the Mayors Winter Campaign.
“We are so pleased with how it’s been received, lots of people have engaged with tapping while they are grabbing a coffee, paying for cinema tickets or just out and about. We want to make TAP a staple of London life and will be continuing our work in connecting Londoners with amazing projects and services that change lives.“