Streetsmart - Express backs restaurant campaign to help the homeless

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People enjoying a restaurant meal this winter might be just yards away from someone who is sleeping rough and can’t afford to eat.

That’s why the Express is backing a fundraising campaign to help rising numbers of homeless people put a roof over their heads.

Restaurants are being asked to sign up to Streetsmart, an initiative which asks customers to add £1 to their food bill to be donated to homeless charities.

The Express is the official media partner of the campaign, which will run from now until Christmas to help cope with rising homelessness in the district.

The Smokehouse, on Wood Street in Wakefield, is taking part in Streetsmart after backing the scheme last year.

General manager Michael Hewitt said: “A lot of people don’t realise that in the cold months, when they are sat in a nice restaurant some poor bloke 25 yards away is freezing to death.

“Streetsmart is a fantastic cause. For a table of four it’s just 25p each and goes a long way to helping someone find a roof over their head.”

Also taking part is Samuel Valentine Urban Food Hall, on Station Road, Allerton Bywater.

Jemma Flowers, business development manager at the eaterie, said: “We think this is a really worthwhile cause.

“A lot of people are struggling to make ends meet, especially around Christmas.

“This is a great cause because it is really local and you know the money is going to help people near you.”

Streetsmart is a national campaign which has raised millions of pounds to help the homeless since being launched in 1998.

Homeless charities will be invited to apply for a share of the proceeds from the initiative.

It is being organised by Wakefield Rent Deposit Scheme, which helps vulnerable adults stay off the streets by providing cash deposits for private landlords and household goods.

Housing support worker Ben Aldam said: “Streetsmart helps pay for a variety of things like sleeping bags for people waiting for accommodation, bedding and pots and pans.”

“No administration costs are taken by anybody running the scheme and 100 per cent of the donations go directly to helping the homeless.”

Last year, Streetsmart raised around £1,500 to help the Wakefield homeless.

The restaurants taking part in Streetsmart so far are: The Cow Shed, on Northgate, Wakefield, Felice’s Bella Roma, on Northgate, Wakefield, The Smokehouse, on Wood Street, Wakefield, Capri, on Bridge Road, Horbury, Bar Biccari, on Highfield Road, Horbury and Cryer and Stott’s Samuel Valentines, on Station Road, Allerton Bywater.

To get involved in Streetsmart, call the Rent Deposit Scheme on 01924 304575. For more information about Streetsmart log on to www.streetsmart.org.uk