Shop Direct has committed to raising £600,000 for two homeless charities and introducing technology to help tackle the growing problem.
Homelessness charities The Booth Centre and The Whitechapel Centre were unveiled as Shop Direct’s new charity partners this week.
The Liverpool-headquartered eCommerce business said it will raise the money over the next two years through colleague activities and events. It will also provide knowledge and insight to help the charities introduce new technology-enabled solutions to support the homeless and their families, as well as those at risk of homelessness.
“These two charities are having a huge effect on the lives of homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless in the North West,” said Shop Direct CEO Alex Baldock.
“We’ll be helping our communities, and young people in particular, not just with financial support; we’ll also work with The Booth Centre and The Whitechapel Centre to give them our digital know-how so they can use technology to deliver on their purpose and leave a lasting legacy.
“£600,000 is our most ambitious target yet, but I’m confident that our people will rise to the occasion, working together for these two fantastic charities in Manchester and Liverpool.”
The charity partnership will introduce internet cafes within five homeless centres across the North West, where dedicated coordinators will deliver training and homework sessions to improve IT literacy.
In addition, a web-based online advice and support service will be established in Merseyside to help prevent homelessness amongst young people, buoyed by new technology to deliver more timely and relevant support at the point of contact.
Thirdly, the money raised by the partnership will help to fund a schools awareness programme to educate young people in the community about homelessness and poverty.
The partnership, which is being shared between two charities in Manchester and Liverpool respectively for the first time, will mean giving 4,000 people access to new IT facilities, supporting 400 more people into employment and volunteering, helping an additional 400 people access education or training opportunities, and reaching over 10,000 young people through the schools programme.