From time-to-time you will see people on our streets begging for money. Giving money to people in need is a perfectly understandable thing to do. There are many reasons why people beg for money but if they are struggling with an addiction they could spend that money on drugs or alcohol.
We are not telling you how to spend your money, but we would like to show you other ways you can help someone begging. Our campaign ‘Small Change or Real Change?’ is designed to make you think twice before giving cash, raise awareness of the services which tackle this issue, and signpost people who are begging to get the professional help they need so they can lead better lives.
Reasons why people beg
There are many reasons why people beg: mental and emotional ill health; difficulty keeping a roof over their heads; relationship breakdown; bullying and exploitation, financial problems and addiction. There are also bogus people who pretend to be in need and take advantage of the public’s generosity.
What we are doing
We are trying to understand the problems associated with begging and focus on preventing them. With partners we provide:
- Services to help people find a home; employment and freedom from excessive debt
- Drug and alcohol services that help people recover from addictions
- Support those who are caring for people with drug and alcohol problems
What you can do
There are a range of things you can do to help people who beg other than give cash.
- Buy a cup of tea or food
- Donate to a charity or volunteer your time:
- Homelessness: Housing Advice Centre
0191 277 1711
Emergency out of hours number (from 5.30pm and 24hrs at weekends): 0191 278 7878
- Rough sleeping: Changing Lives
0191 232 5699
- Drug and alcohol: Change Grow Live
- Road to Recovery Trust
0191 580 0881
- Anti-social behaviour
Call 101 or (in an emergency) 999