A partnership in Hull is working to address the issue of problem begging in the city centre.
Hull City Council, Humberside Police, HullBID, Emmaus Hull and East Riding, the NHS and other partners are part of the Improving Outcomes group.
The group is launching a city centre advertising campaign on Tuesday 2 July, advising people to consider avoiding giving directly to beggars – which can potentially sustain vulnerable lifestyles.
The campaign will see 52 advertising boards and 10 digital boards carrying the alternative giving message in the city centre and on key commuter routes.
The campaign, Small Change In The Right Hands, urges people to instead consider giving to registered charities to ensure money is used to address some of the key issues that can lead to people finding themselves in an at-risk lifestyle.
The Improving Outcomes group advised that money is donated to registered charities Emmaus Hull and East Riding, The Riverside Group Ltd, Humbercare Ltd, The Salvation Army Hull, Resettlement Project Ltd, Sanctuary Housing Association Ltd, Hull and East Yorkshire Mind and the Hull Churches Housing Association.
In a joint-statement, the Improving Outcomes partnership said: “Giving to beggars directly can help sustain the lifestyles of those at risk.
“Money donated to charities can be more helpful to vulnerable people in Hull than that given directly to beggars. Soup kitchens and other unregistered charities can also sustain these lifestyles.
“Our data shows a high percentage of beggars are begging to support a drug habit.
“This group has not been set up to demonise those who might feel that asking for donations is their only option – quite the opposite.
“The group is in fact determined to help the most at-risk groups in our society and has pinpointed giving to charities as a much more effective way of administering that support.”
To help vulnerable people by donating to a registered charity, visit www.hull.gov.uk/smallchange