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Donating to Devon's homeless now easier than ever thanks to TAP points

A new scheme has launched in North Devon making it easier than ever to help the homeless.

TAP For North Devon allows shoppers to quickly tap contactless payment cards or mobile phones on selected shop windows to donate £3 to local homeless charities.  The chosen charities in North Devon are Encompass South West and The Freedom Community Alliance, both of whom work closely with the Enhanced Rough Sleeper Outreach Team.

The TAP points are located in the windows of three shops in Barnstaple’s town centre – Boston Tea Party on Tuly Street, Tesco Extra on the High Street and another will soon be installed at Banbury’s on the High Street too.

Tapping takes just seconds and ensures vital funds are transferred directly to where they are most needed.

As well as discouraging street begging, the project aims to divert funding to where it can make the biggest difference in improving the lives of vulnerable people.

The scheme, which has been funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safer Towns project, has been spearheaded by the North Devon and Torridge Community Safety Partnership (CSP).

The CSP is a joint crime and disorder reduction partnership which includes North Devon Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Devon County Council, Torridge District Council and Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Community Rehabilitation Company.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said she was delighted to have funded the TAP For North Devon initiative.

Commissioner Hernandez said: “It’s been a tough year for everyone, but especially those who struggle with homelessness.

“TAP For North Devon is a superb idea and fantastic way to help the homeless of North Devon.  Tapping your contactless card or phone takes just seconds and that £3 will go directly to local charities that are best placed to provide help and support to those most at need.

“We can all feel guilty walking past someone who appears in desperate need on the streets, so this scheme helps us contribute easily and be reassured our money will be put to good use.”

Claire Fisher, CEO of Encompass South West, said: “Encompass supports people who are rough sleeping, at risk of homelessness or affected by poverty to reintegrate them back into the community.

“Last year I was involved in the Spare Change Real Change initiative and we got a lot of interest from the community, and TAP For North Devon feels like the natural next step.

“The money from TAP allows us to work with some of the most complex people in our community and ensures that when people do donate money it’s going to the people who most need it.”

Philip Noall, Chief Executive of Freedom Community Alliance, said: “This is a fantastic local initiative.  What I love about it is that it’s been born locally, it’s helping local charities and it’s also going to help local people.

“We all want to see an end to rough sleeping and help people off the streets and this is just a great way to help with that.”

Superintendent Toby Davies, LPA Commander for North and West Devon, said: “I’m really excited about this, it’s the first time we’ve done something like this in our area.

“Quite simply, it’s a really easy and safe way to donate money to two of our local charities just with a tap of your card.  Both Encompass South West and the Freedom Community Alliance do some brilliant work with some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

“You know that the money you give is going to a great cause and is going to make a real difference to those people.  I’d also like to say a big thank you to One Northern Devon for their help and support with our successful bid for the Safer Towns funding.”

Sgt Paul McWhinnie, Neighbourhood Team Leader for Barnstaple Police, said: “Operationally we deal with the street-attached in Barnstaple Town Centre on a daily basis.

“By using TAP For North Devon you’re ensuring that crucial funds go to local charities who are best placed to assist these people and provide the time and resources targeted in the right way to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Emma Harding, store manager at Tesco Express in Barnstaple High Street, said: “Our customers and colleagues care greatly about local issues such as homelessness. 

“We currently work with Fair Share to donate surplus food through our community food collection and I’m proud we can continue to support our local community by being part of the TAP For North Devon initiative to support real change in Barnstaple.”

Naomi Warne, general manager of Boston Tea Party in Barnstaple, said: “I think this is an amazing idea and when we were asked to get involved we were really happy to do so.

“As a company we do a lot of things to give back to people and I think this is one thing that really helps Devon right now.”



What is Tap for North Devon?
Tap for North Devon is a Safer Towns funded initiative which aims to enhance support for our local homeless charities, (Encompass Southwest and The Freedom Community Alliance) through convenient, easily accessible donation points situated throughout Barnstaple Town.

Each tap on a payment device with a contactless credit or debit card, takes a £3 donation which is split equally between our frontline charities who are skilled at improving the lives of our vulnerable, street attached, members of the community.

How has Tap for North Devon Been Funded?
Tap for North Devon has been funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s ‘Safer Towns’ Funding, realised through North Devon and Torridge’s Community Safety Partnership.

What is the North Devon and Torridge Community Safety Partnership?
North Devon and Torridge Community Safety Partnership is the joint crime and disorder reduction partnership (CDRP), also known as the community safety partnership (CSP) for both North Devon and Torridge districts.

The agencies that make up North Devon and Torridge Community Safety Partnership include:

  • North Devon Council
  • Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
  • Devon County Council
  • Torridge District Council
  • Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Community Rehabilitation Company

More information can be found on the the North Devon Council website:

Who are Encompass Southwest?
Encompass Southwest is an independent registered charity with a mission to prevent and alleviate homelessness and poverty across Northern Devon and surrounding areas through advice, support and specialist housing with a strong focus on rural/remote rural locations.

Their work focuses on 3 main areas;

  • Homelessness and Rough Sleeping for adults and young people
  • Supported Housing
  • Financial Inclusion (Money & Debt Advice)

More information about their work can be found on their website:

Who are Freedom Community Alliance?
Freedom Community Alliance is a local, Barnstaple based charity operating across North Devon. They provide opportunities for people experiencing problems with homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, offending behaviour, poor mental health, poverty and isolation.

They believe that everyone deserves to be given another chance and by working with key strategic partners, they help people access the support they need to move away from the streets, address their health issues, learn new skills and integrate into society.

The 3 main strands of their work are:

  • Day Centre and Outreach Services for rough sleepers with a strong emphasis on partnership work
  • Supported Accommodation for homeless men who have a history of rough sleeping
  • Treatment and Recovery services for men in recovery from addiction

To find out more about Freedom Community alliance please visit their website: ​  

Where are the Tap for North Devon Pay Points Situated?
You can find window mounted pay points in Barnstaple at Boston Tea Party and Tesco on the High Street.  More locations will be popping up in the town in the coming weeks. We also have a Podium in Green Lanes at the entrance opposite Green Lanes Café.  If your business or organisation would like to host a pay point please contact your Crime Prevention Officer

Does all of my Donation go to Charity?
More than 94% of your donation goes to charity.  Our donation devices, displays and monthly operational costs (£12.50 per device) have been paid for out of the ‘Safer Towns’ funding from the PCC.

The Community Safety Partnership have chosen Goodbox to supply the payment devices due to their competitive pricing and proven track record. They have worked with over 1,500 charities. There is a 2.5% + 10p fee on each donation. 

So, for every £3 donated, £2.825 goes to charity.  More information about Goodbox can be found on their website:

How Do I Know It Is Safe?
Contactless donating is the future of fundraising and is the safest way to give. Machines are locked to Encompass Southwest’s securely managed bank account.

Each transaction is encrypted by third parties immediately, so we capture no personal data and your card details are kept safe.