Two local business owners have pledged their support to Real Change Oldham - a pioneering new initiative aimed at helping people in the borough who are homeless or at risk.
Cut Throat Kenny, a barber’s shop on King Street has pledged to give the proceeds from every coffee bought at their in-house bar to Real Change Oldham.
Owner Jason Kenny said: “Doing the job I do you get to meet and see loads of different people from all walks of life.
“Sadly, you just have to look out of the shop window to see more and more people are struggling or are ending up homeless.
“By donating money to Real Change Oldham, we are doing our bit to help, and I’d urge other businesses, not just in the town centre, to get on board and help out.”
Ben Howarth, of Howarth Housing Group, which already provides temporary accommodation for homeless people, has given £2,500 to the campaign.
He is already doing his bit by providing free meal vouchers for families who unfortunately find themselves in temporary accommodation.
Ben said: “Howarth Housing Group is dedicated to the fight on homelessness, Real change has the ability to make a difference in people’s lives and I am proud to work alongside them and donate to such a worthy cause.”
Real Change Oldham aims to support some of the most vulnerable residents and give them practical support to cover essential costs needed to help end or prevent their homelessness.
It does this by combining donations from the public to buy bigger things that make a longer-term difference to people’s lives.
By purchasing items through local charities, it also ensures funds are spent on the things which matter when the person has the support in place to make the most of it.
Residents and businesses can do their bit to help by going online and donating on the website at www.realchangeoldham.co.uk
There are no overheads to the Campaign, which is a partnership of local groups and people who have experienced homelessness for themselves. That means more of your donations will go directly toward practical items people need to build their lives away from the streets: things like ID to register with a landlord, bus fares to get to key appointments or money for the electric meter to settle into their new home.
Victoria Holden, Partnership Co-ordinator at Action Together and Chair of the Real Change Oldham network said: “From church night shelters to Oldham Food Network, local voluntary groups are running great initiatives to help end homelessness in Oldham but we can’t do it alone.
“It is essential to have businesses like Howarth Housing Group and Cut Throat Kenny’s pitching in to ensure no one in our community has to be homeless or beg on the streets.”
The campaign is now looking for more people, workplaces and community groups to get involved raising funds and awareness for Real Change Oldham to help end homelessness in their community – with more information about how you can be a part of it at www.realchangeoldham.co.uk
You can follow the campaign on Twitter by searching #RealChangeOldham or following @OldhamReal