London SE1 website team

Don't give to beggars says Safer Southwark

A campaign to encourage people to give to local charities that support homeless people, rather than effectively keeping them trapped on the streets, started this week in London Bridge.

The Safer Southwark Partnership is behind the campaign targetted at commuters and visitors around the London Bridge area.

Southwark Council's executive member for community safety Gavin O'Brien said: "However well-meaning, when you give money to people on the streets you are effectively keeping them trapped in a cycle of dependency.

"The aim of our campaign is not to demonise people who find themselves in such desperate situations, or to stop people from giving money to help them.

"We are asking people to support charities like the St Giles Trust instead so that money they give can go straight into providing services for homeless people locally."

Camberwell-based St Giles Trust helps 2,500 people every year overcome the combination of homelessness, ill health and poverty.

The campaign starts this week with posters going up in the London Bridge area with the key message: don't give cash to beggars it keeps them on the streets, put your money in the hands of local homeless charities.

In mid June flyers will be handed out to commuters reminding them of this message and giving details of how they can support charities. At the end of June postcards with a pop out credit card sized reminder will give people something to keep as a reminder of how best their money can be spent.

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