ALMOST £20,000 has been awarded to a Glasgow charity which will adopt a new approach to tackle street begging and rough sleeping.

Simon Community Glasgow will install six “ tap points”, paid for by IT company CGI, across the City Centre to allow the community to donate £3,  from their debit card, to the StreetChange funding pot.

The “tap points” will be found at the St Enoch Centre, Central Station, Queen Street, Cathouse, 29 Club and The Garage and will work as a contactless payment.

Money donated will add to the £20,000 already made available through various fundraisers including £5000 raised by a Glasgow University fashion show, £4000 from the Best Bar None awards and £10,000 from the Lord Provost’s fund.

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The venture, which is being delivered in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and the Health and Social Care Partnership, will seek to get people off the street, into permanent accommodation and provide any training they need to help them find employment.

Street workers, funded by the health and social care partnership, look to help those in need and don’t wait for people to be referred to them. 

Those who are struggling with addiction and mental health problems will also be given advice and access to the support they need.

Simon Community Glasgow will launch their programme on March 3 while the council’s Housing First approach, which helps vulnerable people with complex needs find long term accommodation, will continue to tackle homelessness.

Robin Wallace, assistant director at Simon Community Scotland, said: “This is about giving people the opportunity to get off the street which is why we are launching our StreetChange Glasgow initiative next month.

“Our street workers will help people find accommodation, if they need it, and access to any training that might help them find a job.

“All of the money donated through the tap point system will go towards StreetChange and helping the most vulnerable people.

“We have taken a collaborative approach with other organisations who recognise the real problems in the city centre.

“We have all provided different points of view on how we can change this and one of the ideas we settled with was tap points where a person can use contactless on their debit card to donate £3 to our cause.

“There will be five places across the city centre to start with where people can contribute.”

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All the money raised will go directly to helping individuals who are street begging and/or rough sleeping in Glasgow.

A team of street workers managed by Simon Community Scotland will have access to these funds to provide interventions that will assist vulnerable individuals, no matter what, to help them find a positive destination.

Mr Wallace continued: “Our workers find out what happened to the person which saw them in this situation. They build a relationship and level of trust with them.

“They will allow them to spend the day however they like, if that means they want to play a game of ten-pin bowling just to get away from the streets, they can do it.

“Everyone is included no matter their background with drugs or mental health. This is about helping the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Glasgow Times:

Councillor Allan Casey added: “Glasgow City Council are proud to be a partner of this exciting initiative which will be a first of its kind in Scotland.

"Glasgow is a generous city and people care deeply about those who are vulnerable and marginalised. They regularly give their spare change to people who are begging. This may help in the short term, but may not bring about positive, long term change in that person's life.

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Street Change Glasgow will offer the public a new way to help, which aims to deliver long term change for individuals - giving them personalised practical support to improve their lives by pursuing positive paths.

"Decisions on support will be made quickly to ensure people are able to seize opportunities to improve their lives.

"The scheme will work alongside a number of initiatives in the city. We aim to remove barriers preventing people from rising out of poverty, so they no longer have to participate in begging.”


Last February Simon Community Scotland met a teenager called Alex who was experiencing a breakdown in her family support network due to her transgender change. 

She was assessed as a section five priority and in need of a permanent home. She was then supported through this scary and anxious time. 

Alex’s support worker Jill explained: “Initially we supported Alex to change all addresses and update several different types of change in circumstances. We also supported Alex to access her local area with much encouragement and motivation due to lack of confidence and of being fearful how she looked to the outside world.

“While out in local community we manoeuvred our way around the area and shops that would suit her. Alex introduced herself to the local businesses as she was actively looking for work.”

After three weeks Alex became part of the LGBT community, which she was referred to. Alex now has friends who she can express with and be herself. Simon Community Scotland are still working and supporting Alex and thank everyone for their time money and support.