Wales

Cardiff homeless contactless payment scheme defended

Contactless donation point in Cardiff
Image caption The public were invited to give £2 a time at a fixed donation point in Cardiff city centre

A contactless payments scheme to help homeless people in Cardiff has raised less than it cost to set up last April.

Give DIFFerently has raised £9,964 since it was launched, with nearly £8,800 distributed in grants.

But the Local Democracy Reporting Service has seen minutes from a meeting suggesting it cost the FOR Cardiff business group £12,000 to set up.

The group said its aim was to change donating behaviour, with more money set to be raised as the campaign grew.

An interactive payment point in Cardiff city centre was operational for three weeks in March 2018, inviting the public to make donations of £2 a time via their debit or credit cards.

But the scheme has attracted larger donations, the most from an individual being £500.

A grants panel has given out 25 payments ranging from £25 to £750 for a range of goods, services and training for homeless people.

These have included money to pay for driving lessons and bus passes, furniture for new accommodation, ID for passports, and phones or computers to apply for jobs or organise training.

The £9,964 raised so far includes a £5,000 donation from Cardiff council at the start of the campaign, but the local authority said it did not contribute to the set-up costs.

Adrian Field, executive director of FOR Cardiff, defended the business group's decision to launch Give DIFFerently rather than give money directly to homeless charities.

"The campaign was developed to help change behaviours and highlight different ways of giving in a progressively cashless society," he said.

"We are about to launch a new phase of the programme which will see contactless stations placed in retail and public spaces.

"The fund is ongoing and we are confident the pot of money will grow as the campaign does."

FOR Cardiff added that no funds or donations from Give DIFFerently had been used in the production of the campaign.

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