This week, StreetSmart revealed the generosity of restaurants and diners during their 2017 campaign has helped the national homelessness charity raise record funds. An estimated final total of £662,000 was donated across the UK during November and December last year.
StreetSmart unveiled the fantastic figure at the Groucho Club in London, where the charity was founded by William Sieghart (founder of Forward Publishing, chairman of Somerset House Trust) and Mary-Lou Sturridge (former director of the Groucho Club, hotelier) two decades ago.
The charity says their work with restaurants is more important now than ever as statistics show an increase of 169% in UK homelessness since 2010 – the estimated number of rough sleepers on a single night in England is 4,751. They also recognised that even in a tough financial year for restaurants, restaurateurs, staff and diners were extremely generous in their donations.
Standout figures from the 2017 campaign include Fortnum & Mason, who raised over £50,000 to provide food for homelessness organisations across London; and Nobu Berkley, who raised over £12,000 which will be used to help those rough sleeping in Westminster. In Soho, the funds raised at Mildreds and Polpo will support House of St Barnabas’ Employment Academy, helping homeless people back into work. MEATliquor restuarants raised money helping projects from Brighton to Leeds.
For 20 years, StreetSmart have had the support of pioneering restaurants including The River Cafe, St John and Harvey Nichols, whilst new participants for 2017 include Mere, Westerns Laundry and Magpie.
StreetSmart fundraise for homeless and vulnerable people through the support of restaurants across the UK every November and December. The charity has now raised over £8.8 million since it was founded, through the simple idea of adding a voluntary £1 to diners’ bills.