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Exeter's Alternative Giving Scheme

The Alternative Giving Scheme is a campaign launched by Exeter City Council and Devon and Cornwall Police to discourage people from giving cash to people begging on the street.  They want to encourage people who wish to support the homeless to give money via a voucher scheme or to an appropriate charity rather.

ECI supports this type of donation as a positive way of helping people in crisis. Unfortunately money given to someone on the street can go towards buying drugs or alcohol and can prevent them accessing support from elsewhere. This project gives a number of alternatives.

The choice is to buy a voucher for food and/or drink that they can give to someone on the streets OR give online or via text (SMS). Any funding raised will go directly to the following charities delivering homelessness and treatment services:

  • Addaction
  • Community Housing Aid
  • EDP
  • Exeter Community Initiatives
  • Keychange
  • Shilhay Community
  • St Petrock's

You can give in 3 alternative ways:

  1. (in development)‘Suspended Sustenance’ Vouchers bought from a select number of outlets. People wishing to give buy the vouchers, then give them to someone begging
  2. Text Giving. A text number is publicised that allows people to text a donation to the Scheme
    • Text EXCI11 [plus the amount you want to give - (£1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10)] to 70070
  3. Online Giving. An online donation site is set up so people can give online.


We hope that Exeter will support our work and use the Alternative Giving Scheme to further this aim and to bring much needed food, drink and funds to those that need it.

Business support required

In order to fulfil the voucher part of the scheme we need local businesses to sign up to selling the vouchers. We believe this would be excellent publicity for any participating business for minimal effort. All you would need to do is sell the vouchers and then accept someone coming in to redeem it at a later date. If you are interested, then please get in contact. 

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