// Shop Direct exceeds fundraising targets for homeless charities
// The Booth Centre and The Whitechapel Centre now receive tech guidance from Shop Direct tech experts
// Charities say they “will never be the same again and will benefit from this partnership long into the future”
Shop Direct this week revealed it had smashed its targets for fundraising towards homeless charities in Manchester and Liverpool.
The Very and Littlewoods owner raised £710,000 towards The Booth Centre in Manchester and The Whitechapel Centre in Liverpool during a two year partnership with the charities.
That figure is above and beyond the £600,000 set by the company to aim for in 2017.
The funds are the largest donations ever received by the organisations and will go towards supporting people affected by homelessness, social exclusion and housing poverty in the North West.
Across two years of fundraising colleagues at Shop Direct organised an array of initiatives including a charity ball featuring pop stars Jason Donovan, Blue and S Club.
Forty colleagues took the plunge with sponsored sky dives, while others completed an overnight ‘sleep out’ in the car park of the company’s headquarters and took part in everything from cake sales to 10k runs.
Now the charities have begun investing the funds in digital inclusion initiatives including online advice service for young homeless people, a youth awareness programme to reduce homelessness for future generations, improving Wi-Fi at their centres and creating IT suites used by people of all ages – all with the help of Shop Direct’s tech experts.
The new digital infrastructure has already enabled the charities to host 430 employment and skills training sessions, help 406 people into employment and 315 people to gain qualifications.
“We’re so proud of the time, energy and digital expertise our colleagues have dedicated to The Booth Centre and The Whitechapel Centre. It’s fantastic to see that the funds raised are already having such a positive impact,” said Shop Direct group chief executive Henry Birch.
“The support from Shop Direct colleagues over the past two years has been amazing. Not only have they worked so hard to raise such an astonishing amount to help transform people’s lives, but they have also gone above and beyond and shared their valuable skills and expertise too,” commented The Booth Centre chief executive Amanda Croome.
“We’re so grateful to everyone at Shop Direct for helping to transform our organisations and the lives of so many vulnerable people across the region. The charities will never be the same again and will benefit from this partnership long into the future,” added The Whitechapel Centre chief executive David Carter.