Network Rail and TAP London have installed the railway’s first contactless donation point in London Bridge station to help tackle the rise of homelessness in London.
London accounts for around a quarter of the UK’s homeless population. Around 170,000 people are officially homeless in the capital, meaning that on average, one in every 53 Londoners are without a home.
Polly Gilbert, Co-founder of TAP London said:
“Over the past six months, more than 25,000 people have stopped to donate at TAP London donation points around the city. As we launch our summer campaign, we are delighted to be partnering with Network Rail.
“Through this collaboration, we will continue to support the work of brilliant charities here in London, and give the public an easy and effective way to give to the homeless they see around them.”
When points are tapped, £3 is automatically donated to 22 different homelessness charities, which can change the lives of homeless people across London. There are already 91 contactless donation points in the capital, but London Bridge, the UK’s fourth busiest station, is the first railway station to get a contactless point with more stations planned for the future.
Network Rail and the wider rail industry also teamed up with the Railway Children charity earlier this year, to raise money and awareness for the work being done to help thousands of children who run away from home every year. Directors including Ian Hanson from Network Rail, held a sleepout at London Bridge station with the aim of raising £25,000.
Ian Hanson, stations director for Network Rail South East, added:
“We are delighted to partner with TAP London to install the first contactless donation point in a UK railway station.
“Everyone should have a place to live but thousands of people still sleep rough on the streets of London every year. Passengers can now make a real difference to the lives of those who are homeless when travelling through London Bridge station.”
Every penny of the donations will be split equally between the 22 charities within the London Homeless Charities Group, which include small local charities, as well as Shelter, Crisis and YMCA. The money will be spent on providing essential services in London, helping rough sleepers to cope with the day-to-day, but also forge a path away from life on the streets.
David Wornham, Passenger Services Director for Southeastern, commented:
“As a socially responsible company, we’ll do everything we can to enable people who pass through our stations to give to deserving causes that help the most vulnerable people in the communities that we serve. This collaboration will ensure that giving to charities that help to alleviate homelessness can be done in the easiest way possible.”
Sophie Hill, Area Station Manager, London Terminals, for Govia Thameslink Railway, remarked:
“This is a fantastic initiative and a great way of helping people in need. Not only is it very easy to give, but every last penny will be used to support well-established charities who provide not just immediate support but ongoing care. This includes mental health support and helping people in the long term.”