SOUTHEND Bid and Harp launched a new initiative to raise awareness of the good spending five minutes to speak with a rough sleeper can do.

At the launch event at Victoria Circus last Thursday, volunteers for Harp spoke to passers by in the high street to educate them that although giving money to the homeless is a good thing, giving food, a hot drink or having a chat could be more worthwhile.

Alison Dewey, the Southend Bid manager said: “It was a really good day, between the Harp volunteers, there was 1500 small booklets given out and they were well received.

“The whole day was about educating people. Begging can be a way for rough sleepers to fund addictions but giving time to buy them a hot drink or food could have a much better long term effect.”

Alison was very proud of Bid and Harp’s work so far.