Alternative Giving windows raise more than £2,200 to help Shrewsbury homeless in under a year
05 Apr 2022

An innovative way for people to support the homeless in Shrewsbury has raised more than £2,200 in less than a year. 

Alternative giving windows were set up in Castle Street and Pride Hill containing a card machine for people to use contactless payment to donate a set amount to The Ark homeless charity. 

The system, a joint initiative between The Ark and Shrewsbury BID, has been a great success and now the hunt is on for a new home for one of the windows to enable the scheme to continue. 

The payment machines had been installed in empty shop windows, and now need new homes because the units are now being taken on by new businesses. 

Alternative giving is a safer and more efficient way of helping the homeless rather than handing over cash in the street, and the scheme has diverted £2,256 from on-street giving to The Ark since last April. 

Mike Matthews, chair of Shrewsbury BID and trustee of The Ark, said: “The scheme involving specially-designed card machines has been extremely successful in allowing people to make donations directly to The Ark. 

“The first machine was set up in Castle Street in April with the second following in Pride Hill, and they have produced some really positive results with more than £2,200 being raised in under a year. 

“We are now looking for new locations for the windows. Although they have been placed in empty shop windows so far, they can be installed as part of an existing business, so if anyone isinterested, we would be delighted to hear from them.” 

Mike added: “Shrewsbury BID and The Ark have a close working relationship and the windows have provided a safer, more targeted way for people to help the homeless, which in turn allows us to deliver structured support in assisting homeless people to get their lives back on track. 

“The windows are easy to use and anyone wanting to make a donation only has to tap their card on the machine to make a payment. 

“All of the money donated goes to The Ark, enabling the charity to continue its important work helping the homeless in Shrewsbury. 

“I would like to thank everyone who has donated over the last year and want them to know that their contribution is going where it is needed and is very much appreciated.” 

The Ark is a charity which provides ongoing support and day centre facilities for the community’s homeless and vulnerable, helping people turn their lives around by providing everything from basic food and washing facilities to assistance in finding a job and a more permanent place to live. 

For more about The Ark, call 01743 363305 or visit