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Helping the Homeless at Christmas

Press Release   •   Dec 18, 2013 14:40 GMT

Throughout the festive period restaurants and hotels across the land are helping the homeless by supporting StreetSmart. StreetSmart is the charity that adds £1 per table to diner's bills and hotel guest's bills to raise vital funds for those in need during the winter. Over 550 top destinations are taking part including famous names OXO Tower, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, St John and The River Cafe. Recent openings like Ember Yard and Angela Hartnett's Murano Cafe have recently added their support which will help StreetSmart raise it's target of £500,000 by the end of December.  Angela Hartnett says "StreetSmart is a fantastic way to help the homeless especially at a time of year when we should be thinking of others" 

And it's not just the 'white table cloth' brigade taking part as foodie destinations like StreetFeast at Hawker House in Hackney and French & Grace in Brixton Village are helping out as well as countless gastropubs from The Bald Faced Stag in East Finchley to The Sparrow Hawk in Crystal Palace. On the hotel side Claridge's, The Berkeley, Hyatt Regency and Park Plaza Group have also joined the fundraising drive. StreetSmart patron and broadcaster Richard Bacon points out “All the restaurants taking part in this year's StreetSmart are tremendous. The finest joints in town. A quid... on top of that bill... you won't even notice. But somebody will."

StreetSmart operates in 22 cities/regions across the UK so whether you dine at Wilks in Bristol, Angelica in Leeds, Harvey Nichols in Manchester, Simpsons in Birmingham or Brighton's MeatLiquor you will be supporting projects in that particular city. And every single penny raised goes to help as the campaign costs are paid for by StreetSmart's partner Deutsche Bank ensuring 100% of each donation goes to help get people off the streets and to rebuild their lives.

Stephen Fry who has backed the charity since it launched 16 years ago says "StreetSmart is a marvellous undertaking and has established itself in the advent calendar as firmly as the oxen and the shepherds.”  The funds raised are certainly needed as a recent survey by Crisis indicates that homelessness in the UK has increased over the last 12 months. Stephen adds "We may not be able to solve the question of homelessness but at least by doing something we, in some way, diminish its tyranny.” 

Here is StreetSmart's take on a A Christmas Carol staring Richard Bacon as Scrooge and featuring chefs Angela Hartnett, Jason Atherton and Francessco Mazzei

  • The 22 cities/regions taking part this year are: Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Cornwall, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hampshire, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottingham, Oxford, Southend-on-Sea, Surrey and Wakefield. 
  • All funds raised in each city supports projects based in that city. So Manchester restaurants support Manchester charities.
  • In 2013, StreetSmart funded 97 homeless organisations across the country 
  • Since 1998 StreetSmart has raised over £6.3 million for the homeless
  • A full list of the participating restaurants, homeless projects funded and partners supporting StreetSmart can be found at www.streetsmart.org.uk.
  • In 2010 the charity launched SLEEPSMART- a hotel campaign where a donation of £1 per stay is added to hotel rooms.
  • Trustees of StreetSmart are William Sieghart (Chairman of StreetSmart, Founder of Forward Publishing), May-Lou Sturridge (Former director of The Groucho Club, Hotelier), Rosie Boycott (Editor, Writer, Journalist, Chair of London Food), Nick Emley, (Entrepreneur, Former Director of StreetSmart)
  • For further information on StreetSmart, please contact Jennie Blouet on Tel 020 7292 5591 or email jennie.blouet@streetsmart.org.uk

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