Manchester’s restaurants are busy raising money for the homeless this Christmas, thanks to the national StreetSmart campaign which launched on the 1st November.

StreetSmart works by participating restaurants adding £1 to all customers’ bills throughout November and December. This is a voluntary contribution, and the amount is the same no matter how big the party.

The money raised is collected in January and is distributed amongst organisations working to end rough sleeping and homelessness across the region.

Last year the city’s dining community raised £33,400, which helped to make possible the often lifesaving projects and work of organisations including The Booth Centre,  Barnubus and The Wellspring via A Bed Every Night.

These organisations 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.

For the third year running, StreetSmart is working with the city-region’s Mayor, Andy Burnham, supporting his pledge to end the need for rough sleeping in Manchester by 2020.

Streetsmart funds will benefit The Mayor’s Bed Every Night campaign providing accommodation and support to Greater Manchester’s rough sleeping population every night this winter.

 “The StreetSmart campaign is so important – it expertly marries business innovation with the generosity of the Greater Manchester public,” said Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, as restaurateurs gathered at Albert’s Shed in Castlefield to launch the campaign.

“I want to praise those people and businesses who have already raised thousands for Greater Manchester’s approach to tackling rough sleeping, a programme called A Bed Every Night. So far the scheme, which launched just 12 months ago, has helped more than 2,200 people from Greater Manchester’s streets and into warm and safe emergency accommodation.

“I know the people of Greater Manchester are compassionate – we are not the sort who walk on by. This winter we will have 400 A Bed Every Night places spread across all our 10 boroughs and we’re aiming to have enough availability for every person who wants and needs the support.

“Nowhere else in the country is doing so much for society’s most vulnerable.

“We do things differently in Greater Manchester – I am determined that soon no-one will need to sleep rough on the streets of our city-region.”

Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester Night-time Economy Adviser, has also pledged his support for the campaign.

“At this time of year, when people are eating out, having fun and socialising, others are spending a night on the streets,” said Sacha.

“It is unacceptable and here in Greater Manchester we’re determined to end the need for rough sleeping.

“Within the night time economy I know of huge concerns around homelessness and StreetSmart is a terrific opportunity for restaurants to help make a real difference. I encourage any restaurant no matter how big or small to get involved this winter.”

There are currently 14 Manchester restaurants taking part in the scheme, but organisers are hoping more will sign up.

Restaurants taking part so far include Albert’s (Didsbury, Castlefield, Worsley and Standish), Dukes 92, The Refuge, Harvey Nichols, Randall and Aubin, Tampopo (Corn Exchange, Piccadilly and Albert Square), The Creameries, San Carlo Bottega (Selfridges), and Eagle and Child (Ramsbottom).

“2018 was the first year our customers supported StreetSmart,” said James Ramsbottom, owner of Albert’s restaurant group and Dukes 92, who raised over £15,000 for StreetSmart last year.

“For them to raise such a great amount of cash brought home how effective the campaign is and how generous they are. The partnership between StreetSmart and A Bed Every Night means that we know the money is going directly to help local people and will have a real impact on our city.

“It’s a fantastic way for the dining sector to do something positive this Christmas. I hope more restaurants join in.”

It’s been a fantastic year for Manchester’s food and drink scene, believes director of StreetSmart Glenn Pougenet, who hopes to raise a record amount this year.

“The total raised last year in Manchester was incredible and testimony to the generosity of the city’s dining community,” said Glenn.

“We would love to welcome even more restaurants to the scheme this year so please do get in touch if you run a restaurant and would like to help the homeless this Christmas!”

Any restaurants who would like to get involved should contact Siobhan Hanley on 07793 279276 or Siobhan@siobhanhanley.com.

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