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You can now help rough sleepers in Norwich with a tap of your bank card

PUBLISHED: 10:33 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:57 11 October 2019

Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas made the first contactless donation to Norwich Street Aid. Photo: Neil Didsbury

Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas made the first contactless donation to Norwich Street Aid. Photo: Neil Didsbury

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An innovative fundraising campaign has launched in the city allowing people to help rough sleepers with just a tap of a bank card.

People can make contactless donations to Norwich Street Aid thanks to new technology. Photo: Neil DidsburyPeople can make contactless donations to Norwich Street Aid thanks to new technology. Photo: Neil Didsbury

The new system creates a 21st century equivalent to scrambling for loose change, by offering a quick and straightforward way of making a donation towards the plight of homeless people in the region.

Norwich Street Aid is the work of a combination of businesses, charities and local authorities and has been created as a response to the rising numbers of rough sleepers in the city centre.

From today, members of the community will be able to visit a terminal inside The Forum and give an immediate donation by tapping either their mobile phone or card on the device.

The donation will them be pooled together into a central pot which will help fund the work of the Pathways partnership, a collaborative project led by St Martin's Housing Trust to support those either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

People can make contactless donations to Norwich Street Aid thanks to new technology. Photo: Neil DidsburyPeople can make contactless donations to Norwich Street Aid thanks to new technology. Photo: Neil Didsbury

The campaign is being run by The Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) Pathways and the Norfolk Community Foundation.

On Thursday, lord mayor of Norwich Vaughn Thomas made the very first donation to the pool, tapping into the scheme as it was launched in the city.

Mr Thomas, a Labour city councillor, said: "The key thing here is everybody working together - rough sleeping is not just an affront to the people who find themselves in that position, it's an affront to the whole community.

"We are in the 21st century now, the money is there, we are a wealthy nation and there is money in Norwich. This is all about addressing issues together."

People can make contactless donations to Norwich Street Aid thanks to new technology. Photo: Neil DidsburyPeople can make contactless donations to Norwich Street Aid thanks to new technology. Photo: Neil Didsbury

The scheme came about after members of the business community rallied together to find a way of supporting the city's response to homelessness.

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, said: "Rough sleeping and street begging is becoming increasingly visible in Norwich.

"The campaign uses the latest technology to raise crucial funds, to enable those on the streets to receive practical support to help them secure accommodation.

"We have worked closely with the Pathways team to find a vehicle to leverage funds from the community."

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