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Guildford Adopts Campaign That Takes A Different Approach To Help The Homeless And Street Beggars

Experience Guildford, the town’s business improvement district, is rolling out a new initiative in a bid to change shoppers’ and visitors’ behaviour towards street beggars and those who are homeless.

The Have a Heart – Give Smart campaign helps raise awareness of the best ways to support and offer help to those that we perceive in need on our streets.

The Have a Heart – Give Smart campaign, originally introduced in Edmonton, Canada, helps raise awareness of the best ways to support and offer help to those perceived to be in need on our streets.

The campaign, introduced by the Association of Town Centre Managers (ATCM), centres on encouraging people to focus their charitable giving on local charities that help tackle the complex issues associated with homelessness and rough sleeping, rather than simply giving to one individual which could further fuel their problems.

These charities include those dedicated to mental health issues, substance abuse and shelter, all integral to supporting the health and well-being of this vulnerable sector of society.

Working in collaboration with the Safer Guildford Partnership, Experience Guildford is urging visitors and residents of Guildford to learn more about the registered charities and organisations that work in the local community to help those most in need on our streets and make a positive change for the future.

A list of such organisations can be found at or you can donate via the following websites:

Experience Guildford’s general manager Amanda Masters said: “Similar to many other towns and cities across the country, we have experienced increasing levels of street beggars and homeless people on our streets.

“While this obviously causes great concern in terms of the welfare of these individuals, our work with the Safer Guildford Partnership and related charitable organisations has made it evident that simply offering money on a person-by-person basis does little to solve the underlying problem or aid their recovery from the situation.

“By co-ordinating our efforts under this campaign we can offer the public a means to donate funds in a manner that will directly help those individuals most in need with the required professional or pastoral care.”

Associated charities involved with the Have a Heart – Give Smart campaign in Guildford include Guildford Action, Riverside Care and Support, Guildford Town Centre Chaplaincy, Number 5 Project.

 Associated organisations and groups, along with Experience Guildford, include Guildford Borough Council, Safer Guildford Partnership, Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Experience Guildford Business Crime Reduction Partnership

See also reader’s letter about rough sleepers published earlier this week.


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