Steve Brine joined up with a host of local organisations and volunteers on Friday 10th June as was on hand to relaunch a local scheme for people who are homeless in the city.
Winchester City Council, Winchester Churches Nightshelter and Trinity Day Centre are all working in partnership on 'Spare change for Real Change', which has been in place for 5 years and is coordinated by Winchester BID.
Steve joined volunteers and representatives from partners, including Michele Price from Nightshelter and an employee from Jeremy France Jewellers at the event on the High Street, alongside WCC Housing portfolio-holder Caroline Horrill, as they officially relaunched the scheme, gave out leaflets and drummed up support from shoppers and local residents.
Steve said: "This is a great project where the aim is to encourage the public to donate money directly to the scheme itself, rather than those rough sleeping or begging – who may not be genuinely homeless.
"We have around 20 collection boxes in various retailers and pubs across the city centre. Donations are then evenly split between Nightshelter and Trinity, which means the money is going to where it is properly needed and can be invested transparently."
Cllr Caroline Horrill said: "Winchester has few homeless people due to its committed housing team and the support of the two charities working hard to help those in need. However the city is targeted, especially at this time of year, by 'career' beggars who see Winchester as a lucrative place.
"Our aim is to stop this cycle of begging and urge those who want to help to give their donations to local charities working directly with the homeless to turn their lives around."
"This scheme offers Winchester residents and visitors the chance to support homeless people with the confidence that their donation will be used directly to improve services for those sleeping rough.
"Look out for the red house-shaped donation boxes at shops and businesses in Winchester. Putting your spare change in the box will contribute to a long-term solution to homelessness."
Catherine Turness, Executive Director at the Winchester BID said: "Winchester BID is delighted to be a part of the facilitation of the Spare Change for Real Change re-launch. It is a project that first came in to being around eight years ago and is still very close to our hearts. We anticipate a growth in interest from the public and businesses which will lead to donations being channeled to the right places."
Steve Brine has a collection box in his office on Stockbridge Road, where he is also advertising the scheme.
More information ...
If you are a business interested in helping out, you can contact Amy Sheppard from Winchester BID via email@example.com