The team behind Pitt Cue Co, co-owner Jamie Berger and chef Tom Adams, will be implementing the StreetSmart campaign from July to December to raise money exclusively for the charity Streetwise Opera.
Streetwise Opera gives a voice to homeless people through music and drama workshops that aim to erase social exclusion and the stigma of homelessness. Pitt Cue, a British-style BBQ joint, will be serving their meals to support Streetwise Opera’s music drop-in workshops, as well as their termly opera projects, some of which have resulted in work placements for the marginalized people they support.
“The workshops focus on the art, not the homelessness”, explains Co-Executive Director Susie Gorgeous. “People taking part leave their homeless identity at the door. They come as performers, they don’t share any information about their circumstances. Everyone’s ideas are valued.”
Streetwise Opera has been sponsored by StreetSmart for the past 12 years, and is its longest-running grant-giver. StreetSmart raises the funds for local charities through working with top restaurants such as Pitt Cue Co. During the campaign season, voluntary £1 donations are added to diners’ bills, and are then collected by StreetSmart and redistributed in whole to charities local to the restaurant.
The scheme may be simple to implement, but the impact is huge. “Streetwise Opera gives us an opportunity to fire up parts of ourselves that had been hiding, and to find ourselves. Something comes out that was buried for so long”, said one participant. “It gives you self-worth – makes you feel like you’ve got a reason to be here. You get a sense of achievement that you’ve gone up there and done that.”