StreetSmart charity aims to team up with restaurants to raise money

Silly season is upon us and amid all the mulling, manic gift buying and indulgence, this time of year can be exceptionally tough for people experiencing hardship. Charitable activity ramps up at this time of year and the beleaguered hospitality industry is often at the heart of it. 

Even in our toughest times, Greater Manchester has never walked on by.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham has joined forces with charity StreetSmart and is appealing to get involved with this year’s Christmas campaign to raise funds for those facing homelessness.

The scheme launches on 1 November and participating restaurants are asked to add just a quid to every dining bill in November and December. Every penny raised by the StreetSmart campaign goes directly to local homeless organisations enabled by sponsors LandAid

The funds raised by StreetSmart here in Greater Manchester will go towards critical work of organisations including Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity and the “A Bed Every Night” scheme, which aims to provide a bed and personal support for anyone who is sleeping rough or is at imminent risk of homelessness in Greater Manchester.

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Burnham is appealing to restaurants to help Image: Mayor of GM

Through this simple idea of adding a (voluntary) £1 to diners’ bills during the festive months, Greater Manchester restaurants will be raising funds for local charitable projects that help those living on the streets or in unsuitable accommodation.  

In previous years, StreetSmart has seen an impressive £34k raised by Manchester restaurants but last year’s campaign was tough due to restaurants facing uncertainty in the wake of Omicron. The Mayor is hoping for a good year this year with more restaurants able to help out. 

The restaurants participating this year so far include Mana, Bottega by San Carlo, Tampopo, Banyan, Manahatta, 20 Stories, Street Urchin and more. Hats off to that lot.

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Bottega by San Carlo has already joined the scheme Image: Confidentials

Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, along with other local charities that will benefit from the campaign, are focused on helping individuals break the cycle, regain their dignity and rebuild their lives via "positive action", as well as providing crisis and emergency shelter and food during the current cost of living crisis.

Burnham has released a video appealing to more restaurants to get involved. He says: 

“We all know that the winter ahead is going to be one of the most challenging we’ve faced. Unfortunately, the people who will be hit hardest will be those who are already in the most precarious positions, and those already living at the edge could be pushed over it. That’s why the StreetSmart campaign is so important. A voluntary donation can help support life-changing initiatives here in our city region. Even in our toughest times, Greater Manchester has never walked on by. Please, if you can, help support StreetSmart this winter.”

Glenn Pougnet, Director of StreetSmart added:

“After another tough year for the hospitality industry, and for people all over the country, we are so grateful to the brilliant Manchester restaurants who have signed up so far. We know it’s a difficult time to run a restaurant so their support means more than ever. Unfortunately, tough times hit people who are already struggling the hardest and so the funding for charities like Bed Every Night are more vital than ever. We’d love to see even more restaurants sign up and join us in fighting homelessness this Christmas”

Christmas At 20 Stories
20 Storeys always goes all out at Xmas but it's also supporting those worse off this year Image: 20 Stories

StreetSmart has raised over £10 million since its foundation and raised an incredible £696,000 for homeless people across the UK in 2021. Over 50 homelessness charities now benefit each year, with funds supporting services such as the creation of beds, housing, mental health advice and job support. 

With an incredibly tough winter ahead, we hope this campaign is a success and can go some way to undoing the mess we’re in as a country.

Want to get involved? Email or 

Read next: Fenced and decked: half of Piccadilly Gardens effectively a private space

Read again: Why is there a statue of a homeless Jesus in St Ann’s Square?

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