Donate as you dine this November and December

The StreetSmart campaign launched this week with local restaurants, and their customers, pitching in to help those who are facing homelessness this winter.

By simply 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 and in unsuitable accommodation.

It’s particularly humbling to see so many restaurants keen to do their bit and support us

Participating restaurants include Ramona, The Firehouse, Tampopo, Evuna, Street Urchin, 20 Stories, Banyan, Solita, Bottega by San Carlo and more.

The campaign runs during the festive months of November and December, and, as detailed on a tablecard or the menu, £1 is added to the diners’ bill. At the end of each month, the restaurant passes on all of these £1s to StreetSmart. 

The £1 donation is voluntary and can easily be removed from the bill upon request. Street Smart report that customers are usually delighted to have an opportunity to help homeless people over Christmas and often request to add more than £1.

Roast Chicken At The Firehouse
Dinner at The Firehouse can also help Manchester projects

Breaking the cycle of homelessness

The effects of the pandemic have pushed more people than ever to the brink of homelessness. Streetsmart is working in partnership with Greater Manchester Mayor's Charity to fund projects aimed at getting people off the streets and onto their feet again. 

Funds raised by StreetSmart go towards homegrown charities helping to improve the lives of homeless people. While some of the money does go to the basics, such as a bed, a shower or a pair of shoes, much of the funding goes towards tackling the root causes of homelessness. Over the years, StreetSmart has invested in projects that engage with family breakdown, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, poor mental health, the need for education and training, all of which can lead to homelessness.

The organisations that receive StreetSmart funding are focused on helping individuals break the cycle of homelessness and rebuild their lives via positive action, as well as providing crisis and emergency shelter and food during the pandemic.

Last year’s campaign was curtailed by the announcement of Tier 3 restrictions but in previous years Manchester restaurants have raised an incredible £34,000 for local operations, including the Manchester Settlement and Depaul Manchester, which works with young people facing homelessness.

Tim Heatley David Fox And Andy Windsor Luanch Streetsmart At The Firehouse
Andy Windsor of The Firehouse, Tim Heatley and David Fox of Tampopo launch this year's StreetSmart campaign

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham commented: "I have been so encouraged by the number of Greater Manchester businesses who have stepped forward to help with our efforts to reduce rough sleeping and homelessness."

"We are lucky to be home to many brilliant hospitality businesses which aren’t just great places to go, but which also are prepared to use their success for the benefit of others. That’s the Greater Manchester way and long may it be the case. StreetSmart takes this work to the next level and I hope our businesses and the generous Greater Manchester public will get on board with it. We have a huge challenge ahead in preventing a rise in homelessness." 

The StreetSmart campaign in Manchester was launched by Tim Heatley from Capital & Centric, in his capacity as Chair of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity.

Mayor Of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham Homelessness Rough Sleepers
"We have a huge challenge ahead in preventing a rise in homelessness” according to Andy Burnham

The StreetSmart charity, which operates in London and other cities as well as Manchester, has raised over £10 million since its foundation. Over 50 homelessness charities throughout the UK now benefit each year. 

Glenn Pougnet, Director of StreetSmart said:

“Homelessness is complex and often misunderstood. It is not suffered through choice. All money raised through dining out will contribute to achieving impactful social change, supporting those most vulnerable, living on the streets and in unsuitable accommodation. 

"The campaign launches at a time when the hospitality industry is dealing with all sorts of challenges  and so it’s particularly humbling to see so many restaurants keen to do their bit and support us. I’d like to thank every one of them as their commitment means we can raise vital funds at a time when they’ll be needed most.”

Visit the StreetSmart website for more information and for a full list of participating restaurants. StreetSmart works with LandAid so that 100% of your donation goes to help those in need.

Homelessness in Manchester

Homelessness is complex and anyone who is currently without a home should be viewed as an individual - not as part of a homogenous ‘homeless’ group. Lots of different people find themselves in lots of different situations of homelessness for lots of different reasons.

Often people think about people who are street homelessness or rough sleeping, but this represents the smallest segment of the homeless population (2-5% in Manchester). Other circumstances include people who are in emergency shelters, temporary accommodation, sofa-surfing, unsafe / substandard housing, and those who are at risk of being homeless.

Anyone can become homeless, but it is often linked to poverty. There is a higher representation of people who have left the care system (30%), prison system (20%), and military (20%). As well as a greater prominence of mental health conditions (70%), substance misuse, and experiences of ACTs (acute childhood trauma) among homeless people.

With thanks to the Manchester Homelessness Partnership

Read now: Stylish shipping container village to house Manchester's homeless

Read next: The Manchester taxi driver dropping food parcels between jobs

Don't miss out

Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email.