The city’s Make Change Count campaign, supporting people who are rough sleeping, is back for 2020.

More than £100,000 has been raised and gone directly to help some of our most vulnerable residents since the campaign began four years ago. This year’s fundraising page is now live.

The campaign is more needed than ever. The global pandemic has had a huge impact on vulnerable rough sleepers. This has been seen here in our city as elsewhere.

Day centres closed and night shelters stopped running to prevent the spread of the virus. At the same time, rooms have been found for anyone who is sleeping rough to help them have a safe space to follow the stay at home guidance. The familiarity of friends has been limited by the physical distancing rules.

People need help and support to adapt to living in new ways. Support is vital.

The Make Change Count campaign links local organisations which are experienced in supporting rough sleepers and preventing homelessness.

As one of the main support providers for homeless people in Brighton, we are one of the nine participating organisations: BHT, St Mungo’s, Sussex Nightstop, Equinox, Antifreeze, The Clock Tower Sanctuary, YMCA Downslink Group, Umbrella Brighton & Hove and Brighton YMCA.

These organisations, like many in the city, are currently working during the Coronavirus crisis to provide connections into services and help people meet their basic needs.

Teams are out on the frontline as well as providing essential support behind the scenes and gearing up for all that will need to be done when the pandemic is over.

Through Make Change Count, you can help with this essential action by supporting the aims of the campaign which are to:

1. Help people who are rough sleeping to access support services available in the city and to move away from the streets for good

2. Encourage an alternative option to giving directly to individuals on the street. You can donate to Make Change Count online today.

3. Let Streetlink know if you see anyone in need living on the streets so tailored help can be offered

At a time when a drop in fundraising is being experienced, with many events closed, whilst at the same time a rise in need of services is increased, it is vital to understand and react to the complexity of homelessness.

At Brighton YMCA, we work individually with clients to ensure we encourage them to fulfill their full potential.

We know that the best chance for a homeless person to get off the streets and stay off the streets is with professional help. Making sure help reaches homeless people is far more effective than giving money to people directly. Make Change Count is a way for you to make that happen.

·       No funds raised are used for administration of the charities or the campaign. If £5 is donated, then £5 will go to people in need.

·       The campaign is supported by Brighton & Hove City Council, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and Sussex Police.

·       If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough in England or Wales, you can use the Streetlink website to send an alert. The details you provide are sent to the local authority or outreach service for the area in which you have seen the person, to help them find the individual and connect them to support ( or 0300 500 0914). Outreach workers are experienced in supporting people to move away from the streets.