Diners raise funds as pandemic pushes more into homelessness

StreetSmart, the restaurant sector’s charity tackling homelessness, raised almost £700,000 in its annual pre-Christmas fund-raising drive last year, despite the dampening effect of Covid on diners’ activity.

The charity has now raised more than £11 million since its foundation in 1998, but supporters who celebrated its success at Sessions Arts Club in Clerkenwell this week heard that demand for emergency shelter and food is again on the rise.

Adam and Natasha Stokes (pictured above at the Sessions Arts Club event) of Adam’s restaurant in Birmingham, who donated £2,000 to match the sum raised by their diners, said: “Being based in the centre of Birmingham we have seen first-hand how the pandemic has affected homelessness. The past 24 months has been devastating for so many, which has only created more need for these vital funds. Everyone deserves to live in a safe and stable home.” 

A total of 512 restaurants participated in the campaign this year by encouraging diners to add a £1 donation to their bill. Heavy hitters included the Soho House Group, which raised £69,000, and the MEATliquor group with more than £28,000. New participants included Solip, Cornerstone and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.

Every penny raised by StreetSmart is used to help homeless people in need because the campaign’s running costs are met by its partner LandAid, the property industry’s charity.

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