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Last night, homeless charity StreetSmart announced it raised £805,000 in November and December 2012 – a record-breaking sum that brings the total figure raised by the charity since it started in 1998 to £6.3m.
Out of more than 500 participating restaurants, three establishments were singled out for special mention as raising the highest individual figures for StreetSmart. Top of the list was Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, which raised an impressive £22,000 for the cause; the second-biggest contributor was Oxo Tower Restaurant, with £15,000. Special mention, however, went to Meatliquor, which – in its debut year fundraising for the charity – raised £14,000 in December alone. Hundreds of other restaurants raised an average of £1,000 each.
At the start of the fundraising season, Square Meal pledged to donate an extra £1 to StreetSmart for every online booking made at a participating restaurant through SquareMeal.co.uk in November and December. Diners’ online bookings added an extra £1,152 to StreetSmart’s final total. Last December, the Cabinet Office also pledged to match every £1 donation to StreetSmart from participating restaurants throughout December, giving an extra boost to the homeless charity’s 2012 campaign.
At a party held at HM Treasury, StreetSmart’s chairman and founder William Sieghart (pictured, left) thanked all the people who had made the record-breaking total possible – including participating restaurateurs, committed diners and generous donors, including Square Meal; he also thanked SquareMeal.co.uk for its support in promoting the launch of the 2012 campaign with an online video.
StreetSmart patron Richard Bacon (pictured, top right), who attended the event, and also presented the promotional video made by Square Meal to launch the 2012 campaign, praised everyone’s efforts. ‘You may not have noticed the £1 on top of your bill. But somebody will,’ he said.
Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society (pictured, far left), also thanked the people who made the work of the charity possible. ‘You all do a fantastic job of helping the homeless,’ he said, adding: ‘Keep at it.’
StreetSmart works with more than 500 restaurants nationwide by adding £1 to every bill throughout its fundraising season. Thanks to StreetSmart's sponsor, Deutsche Bank, which covers the charity’s admin costs, 100% of the money raised from diners’ tables is donated to homeless charities local to their area. The charity supports all sorts of homeless projects, from those providing shelters and meals, to those offering rehabilitation and supporting art projects that aim to build people’s confidence.
Square Meal would like to thank all the readers who donated money to StreetSmart by making online bookings at participating restaurants.