£600,000 Shop Direct partnership to help homelessness charities The Booth Centre and The Whitechapel Centre improve access to digital tools and employment

The Booth Centre and The Whitechapel Centre, the North West’s leading homelessness charities, were unveiled as Shop Direct’s new charity partners at a dinner at the etailer’s Liverpool headquarters last night (6 December 2017).

Shop Direct will raise £600,000 over the next two years through colleague activities and events, as well as providing industry-leading knowledge and insight to help The Booth Centre and The Whitechapel Centre introduce new technology-enabled solutions to support the homeless and their families, as well as those at risk of homelessness.

Shop Direct’s biggest ever charity partnership will help the organisations introduce internet cafés within five homeless centres across the North West, where dedicated coordinators will deliver training and homework sessions to improve IT literacy.

In addition, a web-based online advice and support service will be established in Merseyside to help prevent homelessness amongst young people, buoyed by new technology to deliver more timely and relevant support at the point of contact.

Finally, the money raised by the partnership will help to fund a schools awareness programme to educate young people in the community about homelessness and poverty, to break the cycle of deprivation, and reduce the risk of homelessness for future generations.

The partnership, which is being shared between two charities in Manchester and Liverpool respectively for the first time, will mean giving 4,000 people access to new IT facilities, supporting 400 more people into employment and volunteering, helping an additional 400 people access education or training opportunities, and reaching over 10,000 young people through the schools programme.

Amanda Croome, CEO at The Booth Centre, said: “We’re hugely excited to be working with Shop Direct on this partnership. It’ll make a massive difference to homeless people and, in particular, helping to prevent people at risk of homelessness across Greater Manchester from becoming homeless in the first place.”

David Carter, Chief Executive at The Whitechapel Centre, commented: “This partnership is really big for us. Not only will the money raised help to deliver vital new tech-enabled services for the homeless people we help across Merseyside, but Shop Direct’s guidance on the best way to implement that technology will be a real benefit.”

Shop Direct colleagues across its sites, who wanted to support young people and their families living in poverty, voted for the two charities. For the company’s 2016/17 charity partnership, Shop Direct’s people raised £440,000 to digitally equip Claire House’s new site, which will support hundreds of seriously and terminally ill children in Liverpool and the wider North West.

Alex Baldock, CEO at Shop Direct, said: “These two charities are having a huge effect on the lives of homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless in the North West. At Shop Direct, our people vote for which charities we get behind, and I’m delighted with their choice.

“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.

“£600,000 is our most ambitious target yet, but I’m confident that our people will rise to the occasion, working together for these two fantastic charities in Manchester and Liverpool.”

ENDS

CONTACT INFORMATION

Shop Direct
Dave Lafferty
07552 283 266

The Whitechapel Centre
Ruth McCaughley
07795 616717

Booth Centre
Amy Hinks
0161 835 2499

ABOUT THE BOOTH CENTRE

The Booth Centre is a day centre that offers advice, activities and support for homeless people in Manchester. Our vision is for everyone to have a secure home and the opportunity to have a good quality of life.

The Booth Centre is here to bring about positive change in the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and help them plan and realise a better future. We do this by providing advice to find accommodation, education, training and help to secure employment, free healthy meals, support in tackling issues with health and addiction, and creative activities to boost confidence and self-esteem.

ABOUT THE WHITECHAPEL CENTRE

The Whitechapel Centre is the leading homeless and housing charity for the Liverpool region. We work with people who are sleeping rough, living in hostels or struggling to manage their accommodation. We are committed to helping people find and maintain a home and learn the life skills essential for independent living.

Our Vision is to see an end to homelessness, social exclusion and housing poverty in our community. We do this by providing practical, tailored support so that each person can find and maintain a home and achieve their potential.

ABOUT SHOP DIRECT

Shop Direct is the UK’s second largest pureplay digital retailer, with annual sales of £1.93 billion. Our digital department store brands are Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com, VeryExclusive.co.uk and LittlewoodsIreland.ie. We receive an average of more than 1.3 million website visits every day, with 69% of online sales completed on mobile devices.

We exist to make good things easily accessible to more people. With our department store range of famous brands, market-leading technology and data capabilities and unique financial services products offering flexible ways to pay, we’re well placed to deliver on that promise.

We sell more than 1,800 famous brands, including big name labels and our own exclusive brands. We have four million customers and deliver 49 million products every year. Our free click and collect service, Collect+, delivers to 6,500 stores across the country, increasing ease and convenience for customers.

For more information on Shop Direct, visit www.shopdirect.com or follow us on Twitter at @ShopDirect.