FOLLOWING the success of two previous years of helping vulnerable people across Basingstoke and Deane, the Real Change, Not Loose Change campaign is looking to stretch its wings even further.

In the past two years, the campaign has managed to raise more than £40,000 to help rough sleepers across the borough during the winter period.

However, this year the Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) who has taken the lead on the campaign, aims to raise funds all year round.

Rather than in previous years having a set target to reach in a small timeframe, the campaign will raise funds all year round for different good causes to support vulnerable people in the borough.

Chair of the SIP, Councillor Terri Reid, said: "It's important to keep it going all year long and in the public's eye.

"People are more aware of it at this time of year as the nights draw in and the weather is colder, but it is a problem that occurs all year round. We want to keep the channel open for people to find out more about what we are doing, making them aware and giving them the opportunity to raise funds or donate if they want to.

"If we keep it in people's minds, then they can see the effects of donating and understanding the impact it has on people's lives. Making the information available is very helpful. Even with the enhanced need at this time of year, people might want to know more in the summer, and this will be very helpful."

The first project the campaign aims to help is the Night Light Winter Shelter, which is now running for the third year alongside the campaign.

The shelter will run from December 1 for seven-days-a-week providing a safe place for people living on the streets to sleep, enjoy a hot meal and have someone to talk to.

Cllr Reid added: "The Night Light Winter Shelter is fantastic, and it is a really good thing that the information will be more readily available.

"There are big costs to running the shelter, even though it is staffed by volunteers, but with this bigger opportunity, they should be better equipped for this year. We have set a target of raising £15,000 for the shelter this year."

Compared to last year, the shelter will be run out of one central secure venue.

Last year, the shelter there were 66 guests referred to the shelter and of those, 42 are now no longer living on the streets.