Diners in Leeds help the homeless with StreetSmart campaign

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People going out for festive feasts over the Christmas period can help the city’s homeless at the same time.

The StreetSmart campaign is in its seventh week and since the beginning of November diners at 14 restaurants have been adding just £1 onto their bill with the extra donations going to St George’s Crypt, Caring for Life, and Leeds Women’s Aid.

Harvey Nichols and Salvo's lead the way at this year's StreetSmart launch.

Harvey Nichols and Salvo's lead the way at this year's StreetSmart launch.

With the scheme running until the end of December, the three beneficiaries have given the Yorkshire Evening Post an insight into what the money is used for.

Cheryl Harrington, lead fundraiser at St George’s Crypt said since 2011, £41,400 had been donated from Streetsmart.

She said: “In addition to the emergency beds and food, we have been focussing on the health and wellbeing of our service users. Our volunteer Physiotherapist has been running a weekly clinic here for many years now, she is helping trainee physios learn to deal with our client group, and in the last year we started two new weekly services, Vision Care for Homeless who have given eye tests to over 200 people and dispensed 175 free pairs of glasses and The Leg Ulcer Clinic deals with people with some horrific problems, caused by drug misuse, who are not accessing main stream medical care.”

The next project is bringing a dentist on site.

At Caring for Life, Tim Parkinson, Executive Director, said: "The funds from StreetSmart have made a significant contribution towards our Catering Academy, which provides training in catering, food and hygiene skills in a supportive environment, for vulnerable and long term unemployed beneficiaries, many of whom were formerley homeless. An important part of the training is to enable those in our care to cook nutritious meals for themselves and many others who attend farm projects."

And Samantha Lightfoot, head of fundraising at Leeds Women's Aid said the funding they had received over the past four years from StreetSmart has been momentous.

There have been a couple of new sign-ups to the StreetSmart campaign in recent weeks including Turtle Bay and also The Assembly, meaning that there are now more restaurants supporting StreetSmart in Leeds than ever before. Other restaurants include Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor, Harvey Nichols Espresso Bar, Salvo's, Salvo's Salumeria, MEATliquor, Chino Latino, The Granary Restaurant at Crag House Farm, Crafthouse, Issho, Angelica, East 59th, Stockdales.