8 December 2015

A popular Sheffield nightclub has been inspired by a city campaign to hold a charity night to help people who beg for money on the streets.

Revellers going to Popworld on Carver Street on Friday, 11 December, will gain free entry before midnight in exchange for a tin of food. All tins collected on the night will be given to local charities that help the homeless and people who beg. Charity donations are also being collected including through a rodeo reindeer for more daring guests.

Popworld’s managers were inspired to run the night following a citywide campaign urging people to give to local charities as the best way to help those who beg for money on the streets. This was run by Sheffield City Council in partnership with local charities, Cathedral Archer Project, Big Issue North, Turning Point, Ben’s Centre, Soup Wagon and Street Pastors, and South Yorkshire Police.

Rachel Watson, Popworld’s Manager said: “I went to an event about the begging campaign and before then, I didn’t know about all the other charities and that there are places for people to go.

“We see the people who beg working in the night-time economy. I heard about some of their stories through the campaign and it really touched me. It made me feel like it could happen to anyone. I thought we should do something to help.

“We want to collect loads of food and raise loads of money on Friday night – and help spread the word that you can give money to charity and it will help people on the streets, and that there are places for them to go to.

“We’re expecting a good turnout and there’s a lot going on. People love our rodeo reindeer and it’ll be a massive party.”

Popworld is asking for people to bring tinned meat and fish in particular. Their sister bar – Reflex, on Holly Street – is also collecting money for the local homeless charities in the run up to Christmas.

Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, acting cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said: “We’ve been working with local charities and partners to raise awareness of the best way to help those who beg for money on the streets. It’s great that Popworld is getting involved and local businesses are supporting our local charities.

“I know there are lots of kind people in Sheffield who want to help people on the streets. What we’re saying is that the best way to do this is to give to the organisations that already provide help and support, so they can work directly with these people to help them turn their lives around and make a long-term difference.

“I wish Popworld all the best for Friday night – it sounds like great fun.”

More information about the ‘help people who beg’ campaign is available at www.sheffielddact.org.uk

If you are worried about someone sleeping rough over the winter please contact Sheffield’s Rough Sleeper service on 0114 263 6964 or the council’s housing advice line on 0114 273 6306.

Support provided to people sleeping rough, and at risk of homelessness, includes help with finding somewhere to stay, free food, help for people to maintain tenancies, and support and treatment to people who have mental health issues and addictions. Overnight accommodation is offered to anyone who would be sleeping rough during extremely adverse winter weather and people helped by this service are also offered longer-term support.

National figures for known homelessness have increased in recent years but have decreased in Sheffield where significant effort is given to prevention approaches which help people early on and aim to stop people’s problems becoming a crisis.