A newly launched platform in Oxford could change the way that we donate to those in need of a helping hand.
Greater Change was launched by Alex McCallion in Oxford and is focused on helping homeless people achieve a long term change in their lives which could help them get off the streets.
Last year the charity Shelter stated that more than 300,000 people in Britain are offically recorded as homeless or living in inadequate homes. If we look more locally, Brighton & Hove is estimated to have around 178 individuals sleeping rough - the second largest figure in the country outside Westminster.
Many people across the UK routinely give money to individuals they see on the street who are in need but rarely is this money spent on long-term solutions. Alongside this, there are people who avoid giving money to the homeless community for fear that money is spent funding addictions or the individual is a professional begger and not in fact homeless. To throw even more spanners in the works - advances in technology mean fewer people actually carry cash these days.
Greater Change is an initiative that aims to combat all of this. How it works is simple; charities working the homeless identify those who can benefit from Greater Change. A dedicated support worker agrees a savings goal with the individual, this could be to save for a rental deposit or pay for a training course to help them get back into work. Members of the public can then donate to these individual campaigns using the website or the mobile app.
The platform provides the homeless person with a real chance of change whilst also easing the public's concerns regarding where their donations are spent. It also allows the homeless individuals a chance to share their stories - humanising the situation of homelessness and proving that these individuals are just like everyone else.
Greater Change is a fascinating project that is aiming to use technology for good. You can find out more about the scheme by visiting their website, or watch this short film from the BBC on the new QR code project.