Meaningful change - working together to help change lives

Released on 23 October 2019 Archived Press Release

Stratford News

A ground-breaking initiative to enable local communities to make a more positive impact on helping people who are rough sleeping or begging is being launched in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Local charities and agencies working with the homeless and those at risk of being homeless in both towns have joined forces in a campaign called Meaningful Change, which aims to make more of a difference by providing a central focus for the public to pledge support.

The campaign aims to make people more aware of the support services available in their towns, and how they can best help them by donating and volunteering.

Meaningful Change has been made possible with funding from the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Stratford and Leamington have worked together over the last year to devise the campaign and then tailor it to the specific needs of their town.

Stratford and Leamington will operate their own campaigns, Meaningful Change Stratford and Meaningful Change Leamington with individual websites providing information and an online platform for donations.

Meaningful Change

Meaningful Change Stratford:  Pictured at the launch of Meaningful Change Stratford are, front, Cllr Sarah Whalley-Hoggins (Stratford District Council and South Warwickshire Community Safety Partnership), seated, Philip Seccombe (Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner), and, from left to right, Shan Smith (Stratforward), Henry Webster (P3 Charity), Sam Slemensek (Stratford District Council Community Safety Team), Cat Jarvis (CGL), Sgt Simon Ryan (Warwickshire Police), Sarah Summers (Stratford Town Council) and Paul Spooner (Spring Housing).

Philip Seccombe, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "People who are homeless are among the most vulnerable people in society, so it is understandable that the public want to help but often they are not sure of the best way to do so.  That's why I'm really pleased that the funding I make available to the South Warwickshire Community Safety Partnership is being used to help establish this innovative campaign in Leamington and Stratford. 

"Meaningful Change provides an easy platform for people to help support local charities working with people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless so that they get the right help and can avoid falling into the criminal justice system. It will also help the wider community understand the support that is available to tackle homelessness and how they can help through the donation of time, money or items."

The campaign websites list support available including housing services, rehabilitation, food, emergency shelter, advice and training. 

Money donated will be used to fund the support and services needed to help those rough sleeping or begging to make long term, meaningful change in their lives.

Cllr Sarah Whalley-Hoggins, Community Portfolio from Stratford District Council and South Warwickshire Community Safety partnership Chair, said: "When the public see someone on the street, it's natural to want to help.  The Meaningful Change campaign brings together the many ways in which the public can help in one place, making it easier for them to help and to make a real change for the long term lives of those that find themselves homeless and living on the streets. 

"The Meaningful Change website provides information about rough sleeping and begging, together with the organisations and charities providing support in Stratford and the different ways in which people can help to make a 'meaningful change' and change lives for the better for the longer term.

"It's been a long time in the making, bringing all these organisations and charities together and I would like to thank all those involved in the campaign and for the funding provided by the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner to make this all happen.

For more information, including a full list of charities and statutory support agencies involved in both Stratford-upon-Avon and Leamington Spa, visit Meaningful Change: www.meaningfulchange.org.uk/ and select the town of your choice.

Also look out for the hashtag #MeaningfulChangeSOA on social media sites.

The Meaningful Change project will also work closely with the new Fred Winter Centre (Stratford Housing Plus) when opened, to ensure that all services to support homeless people are joined up and provide the best possible opportunities for those in need.


  • Meaningful Change is a multi-agency campaign aimed at helping to positively change the lives of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Stratford-upon-Avon.

  • Visitors to the webpage will be signposted to existing organisations or charities that work with the street community.

    Donations can be made to the following charities listed on the Stratford section of the website:

  • Street Pastors: a visible Christian presence on the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon within the night time economy - https://streetpastors.org/locations/stratford-upon-avon/
  •  
  • Volunteering opportunities are also available on the website with the following organisations:
  • Compass: children and young people's drug and alcohol service in Warwickshire - https://www.compass-uk.org/

  • Citizens Advice South Warwickshire: offering free, confidential, impartial and independent advice  - https://www.casouthwarwickshire.org.uk/

  • Warwickshire CAVA Community & Voluntary Action: providing vital support to the volunteers, groups, organisations, enterprises and charities who are working to strengthen all of our communities - https://www.wcava.org.uk/

  • Doorway (as above)
  • St Basils (as above)
  • Street Pastors (as above)
  • Coventry Cyrenians (as above)
  • P3 Charity (as above)
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Foodbank (as above)

    Items can also be donated to the following organisations via the website:
  • Coventry Cyrenians
  • St Basils
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Foodbank
  •  
  • In Stratford there are a range of charities and organisations (as listed above) working to support vulnerable people in the community. This ranges from supporting people with day-to-day needs, to providing long term support enabling them to make lasting and meaningful change.

    These groups have come together with a range of statutory partners to form the Meaningful Change campaign. By giving to the charities and organisations involved in this campaign rather than directly to those who beg, you can change lives. You will help to provide long term support rather than funding the current lifestyles in which many of those begging are trapped.

  • This campaign is also running in Leamington and is financed by funding provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner to the South Warwickshire Community Safety Partnership. Information on the work of the Community Safety Partnership can be found at  https://www.stratford.gov.uk/crime-nuisance/community-safety-partnership.cfm

Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 24/10/2019

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