A few weeks before Christmas, a new scheme launched in Barnstaple making it easier than ever for members of the public to help our local homeless population. The North Devon and Torridge Community Safety Partnership, assisted by One Northern Devon, sought funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safer Towns project for two ‘Tap for North Devon’ pay points which were installed in Barnstaple town centre. They allow shoppers to easily tap their contactless payment cards or mobile phones to donate £3 to North Devon’s local homeless charities Encompass South West and The Freedom Community Alliance.
These charities work in partnership with the Enhanced Rough Sleeper Outreach Team which includes a Housing specialist, a Community Psychiatric Nurse, Physical Health Nurse, GP, Drug and Alcohol Specialist and a Navigator. They undertake welfare checks and provide the intensive and specialist support required in a client’s journey to ending their rough sleeping. Each client is supported on an individual basis in a person centred way that is tailored to their needs. The success of their partnership approach can be seen by the figures given by Natasha Rowland, Service Lead for Housing Vulnerable Persons, Community Safety and Safeguarding at North Devon District Council:
“We currently have 5 rough sleepers on our streets which is a significant reduction from the 12 we head in November 2020 and we are continuing to support and find longer term solutions for the 16 we have in temporary accommodation to prevent a return to the streets.”
The majority of the donations were donated through the Christmas period but surprisingly, during the month of January, £225 was raised even though we were in a period of National lockdown. Philip Noall, Chief Executive of Freedom Community Alliance said: “For this sum to have been generated during a national lockdown when most people are staying away from the town centre is quite remarkable. Lockdown has been a difficult time for everyone however for rough sleepers even more so. Therefore, being able to have teams going out and provided daily outreach support has been essential. The reduction in rough sleeping demonstrates the effectiveness of this work. We are extremely grateful for the support this initiative provides and the funds generated will contribute to the outreach work for as long as it is needed.”
Claire Fisher, Chief Officer of Encompass said: “To raise over £1000 during a national lockdown is wonderful, and to know that all the monies will go towards supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our community is something special. The donations Encompass receive from Tap for North Devon allow us to continue delivering trauma informed support and to find sustainable housing solutions to stop people from entering the revolving door of homelessness. This winter we have been able to provide a home and support to 11 people who were rough sleeping across Northern Devon in our specialist winter accommodation, whom would otherwise have been rough sleeping”
The Tap points are located in the windows of Boston Tea Party, Tuly Street and Tesco Extra on the High Street, Barnstaple. There are plans to install further pay points in the coming months.
For more information about Tap for North Devon, please take a look at North Devon and Torridge Community Safety Partnership’s page on North Devon Council’s website: https://www.northdevon.gov.uk/community-safety-and-emergencies/north-devon-and-torridge-community-safety-partnership/
Tap for North Devon social media posts can be found on twitter @DevonCPOs and Facebook at Devon Crime Prevention
Any organisation interested in hosting a pay point can contact Crime Prevention Officer, Kim Foster: Kim.Foster@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk
Residents are asked to use the Street Link website to report a rough sleeper they are concerned about: https://www.streetlink.org.uk/
More information about the work of Freedom Community Alliance is available on their website: https://freedomcommunityalliance.org.uk/
More information about the work of Encompass Southwest is available on their website: https://www.bpag-encompass.org.uk/
If you believe you are at risk of becoming homeless, get in touch with North Devon Council as soon as you can on 01271 388870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: https://www.northdevon.gov.uk/community-safety-and-emergencies/north-devon-and-torridge-community-safety-partnership/
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: https://www.bpag-encompass.org.uk/
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: https://freedomcommunityalliance.org.uk/
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 Kim.Foster@DevonandCornwall.pnn.police.uk
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: https://www.goodbox.com/about-us/
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.