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Partnering with StreetSmart this Christmas

In November and December we’re partnering with StreetSmart to support their annual campaign to fight homelessness.

The campaign raises money to help homeless and vulnerable people access food, shelter, employment training and mental health support.

With this time of year being a month to eat out and be merry, it’s a brilliant opportunity to help. Every time you dine with us at a D&D restaurant, a £1 discretionary donation will be added to your bill which will be donated to StreetSmart to help them tackle the issues.

Ahead of the partnership we caught up with StreetSmart’s Director, Glenn Pougnet, who kindly answered a few questions about StreetSmart and homelessness.

What are the ways in which you help people?

StreetSmart funds local grassroots charities that help those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. This includes winter shelters for rough sleepers who provide a bed, a warm meal and advise to those who otherwise would be on the streets. Through our work with LandAid we also provide supported accommodation for young homeless people as well as a stable, safe environment. This will include support for their mental health needs and roots back to education and employment. The money goes to support projects wherever it is raised so where diners donate at Klosterhaus the funds will support projects in Bristol.

What are the leading causes of homelessness?

There’s always a personal crisis – usually a family or relationship breakdown often coupled with job loss, bereavement, health issues. So many young people leaving care end up without a proper home and charities do an amazing job in caring and rehabilitating these individuals who so often are homeless through no fault of their own.

How has homelessness changed in the last few years in the UK?

There are more economic homeless people who are in work but without a home. Shelters report food delivery drivers, cleaners and unaccompanied minors all asking for help. It is estimated that 6,400 households across England are at risk of “no fault” evictions meaning that in the coming six months many more people could end up on the streets.

Are there any misconceptions about homelessness you would like people to be aware of?

Anyone can become homeless. I’ve met ex services, architect, teachers, policewoman who suffered a series of misfortunes and have been unable to claim out of that spiral without some dedicated help. I used to think it was that drunk guy who prefers to sleep under the stars but that just isn’t the case. No one chooses to be homeless.

How long has StreetSmart been helping people for?

StreetSmart is 25 years old this year – we started in SOHO in 1998 with a handful of restaurants who raised £30,000 in one month. We quickly expanded with the help of D&D London (then Conran) and Harvey Nichols and the likes of St John, The River Café. We now make £750,000 each year and are active in 24 UK cities. D&D alone have raised nearly £600,000 for our cause over the years, and we indebted to them, their staff and the generosity and goodwill of their customers.

Support StreetSmart’s exemplary efforts to combat UK homelessness and help us to raise funds by booking a table at any of our restaurants and donating a discretionary £1, which will be added to your bill in November and December.