BOOTH Centre was revealed as online retailer Shop Direct‘s charity partner yesterday, along with The Whitechapel Centre in Liverpool.
Absolutely delighted to be one of @ShopDirect‘s two new charity partners. The #SD600kchallenge is going to help us support more #homeless people in #Manchester in to work, and dramatically improve digital inclusion across the region. Thanks so much to everyone involved https://t.co/1bR67mLGm3
— Booth Centre (@BoothCentre) December 7, 2017
Shop Direct’s aim to raise £600,000 in the next two years is for the sake of enhancing IT education in the homeless community. The reason behind this is to support homeless and those on the verge of being homeless. Their plan includes setting up internet cafes in five homeless centres within the North West of England. One of the two charities chosen to be a member of the company’s partners is Greater Manchester’s Booth Centre. Alex Baldock, CEO at Shop Direct, says: “We’ll be helping our communities, and young people in particular, not just with financial support; we’ll also work with The Booth Centre and The Whitechapel Centre to give them our digital know-how, so they can use technology to deliver on their purpose and leave a lasting legacy.” This is the most challenging objective the company has set so far. However, Alex expressed the confidence he has in The Pertnership to meet its goal, which is also known as #SD600kchallenge. Amy Hinks, development manager of Booth Centre, explained that the events planned for the future are all very new and she adds: “It’s all going to be Shop Direct staff driving the fundraising as part of the fundraising strategy of the company. “The partnership will also look at schools’ awareness program, which will help raise awareness for homelessness for young people in the region.” When asked about the inspiration behind the concept of The Partnership, Amy Hinks states: “There is a synergy between Shop Direct digital and sort of expertise in the digital sector in terms of being a leading online retailer, and the fact that they want to leave a lasting legacy with their charity partners around that particular area. “So, there is a real need to improve digital inclusion for people who live in poverty and for people who need to get back into work.”
Combating the homeless issue with a development in IT skills of the homeless, can be seen as a quiet unique way to do it. However, as Amy stated: “It is about helping people into employment, a long-term change really and prevention.” “If the people are digitally excluded are not able to access IT or get access on the internet then they are excluded from lots of things around employment, health, finances. Everything around accessing benefits and support is all online now, so there is a massive need for this type of support, as well as, training courses and helping people develop IT skills.”, she added. According to Amy, the number of the people in need of support from charities such as The Booth Centre has increased over the year. Budget cuts in both social care and public sector services, as well as less and less support from the government are the main reasons to this. On the other hand, more and more people who want to do something about get actively engaged in the community.