The problem posed by begging in Darlington will only solved if, as a whole community, we work together. It is brilliant that Northstar staff and tenants have chosen to be part of the solution by not giving to those begging, but giving to an agency that seeks to help them. 

We have already had at least one fatality that would have been prevented if the person had not gained money for drugs by begging, and the amounts of money involved (£40-£50 a day), simply piles more damage on lives that are already damaged, reinforcing habits and acting as a disincentive to change. Kindness really can kill, but by working together we can change lives for the better, and help restore the well-being and dignity of all those who beg.

Pictured: Jed Lester (Northstar Chairman), Coral Smith (Northstar Community Connector), and John Elliston (700 Club)