A film promoting the work of an initiative that directly helps homeless people back on their feet is to be premiered in Harrogate town centre this Saturday. (October 22)
The video, starring three local people supported by Harrogate District Street Aid, is to be shown at 10am on a giant screen in the Victoria Shopping Centre piazza, before being played on digital screens in a number of businesses throughout the week.
This event will kick-start a week of awareness raising for the scheme, which includes a fun football tournament featuring players from town centre businesses, media organisations and Harrogate Borough Council.
In a bid to support people who have nowhere to stay and are living on the street, Harrogate District Street Aid was launched in October 2019 in a joint initiative by Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire Police, Harrogate Homeless Project, North Yorkshire Horizons and Two Ridings Community Foundation.
There are many reasons why people ask for spare change in Harrogate. Each person has their own story, and many instinctively want to give money to them because they see they need help. But giving money directly to them can often keep them on the streets for longer.
Those same people can be supported by a Street Aid grant, which can help them get off – and often stay off – the streets. For those who want to help the town’s homeless can do so either online – www.harrogatestreetaid.co.uk – via three ‘tap terminals’, or by sending a text to STREETAID followed by the amount to 70450.
In excess of £24,000 has been raised this way with funds being administered by Two Ridings Community Foundation.
To support the film, Harrogate BID has produced a series of posters and leaflets which will be distributed to businesses across the town, and there will be plenty of social media activity before and during the week.
On the Thursday (October 27) at Rosset High School and supported by Harrogate Town AFC and Your Harrogate, six nine-a-side teams – representing hospitality, the media, retail, Harrogate Borough Council, plus a Street Aid All Stars, will play a series of 20-minute matches in a bid to win the inaugural Street Aid Cup.
Councillor Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, said: “Harrogate District Street Aid is about making a real change to people who find themselves on the street and I am delighted that we are now celebrating the scheme’s third birthday.
“Some people assume that giving a few pounds to someone begging is helping them. Sadly, in some instances it may actually be keeping them on the street.
“Through Harrogate District Street Aid, we can work with our partner organisations to make best use of the money that has been kindly donated, work with homeless people and make a real difference.”
Councillor Mike Chambers, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing and safer communities, said: “Now celebrating its third anniversary, Harrogate District Street Aid truly makes a difference to people’s lives and I would like to thank everyone who has tapped their card and donated to the scheme.
“In addition to our homeless accommodation, Fern House, and by working with our partners such Harrogate Homeless Project, we are determined to help those who are homeless by getting them off and keeping them off the street.
“This latest campaign shows the scheme is making a difference and long may it continue.
“On behalf of the borough council, I’d also like to thank North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Horizons and Harrogate Homeless Project, Two Ridings Community Foundation, and especially Harrogate BID for supporting this scheme.”
Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said: “We are delighted to be adding our support to Harrogate District Street Aid during this awareness raising week.
“Many people who may be perceived as homeless are actively engaging with numerous organisations and we say is it’s better to give to Harrogate District Street Aid as this directly benefits those who need help the most.”
Jan Garrill, Chief Executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation said: “Harrogate BID support to Harrogate Street Aid is really appreciated.
“We know Harrogate Street Aid helps people who are homeless to turn a corner and it gives people who want to help, a smarter, alternative way of giving. Through the BID, that message is really getting out there.”
Further information about Harrogate BID is available from its website,