Like many towns and cities across Britain, Guildford in Surrey has seen a sharp rise in the number of people begging on its streets in the last few years. Many people’s natural instinct is to show compassion by giving – but in fact, this can often do more harm than good, according to a local charity.
Have a Heart is running a campaign to raise awareness that the majority of homelessness is caused by addiction to alcohol or drugs. It also points out that many people begging actually have homes to go to; those that don’t can stay in hostels free of charge. The charity is asking people to make donations to help fund its range of support services, rather than giving money directly to people begging: it suggests buying a cup of tea or something to eat as a more positive and genuinely caring gesture.
We’ve designed a flyer and poster, which are now being used across Guildford to promote the project, which is shortly to be rolled out nationally. It’s a really worthwhile project to be involved in, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it progresses over the coming months.