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Recycling Lives given free Visa Prepaid CitizenCards

11 January 2013

Recycling Lives, the Queen's Award-winning charity which offers accommodation, education, training and work experience to homeless and long-term unemployed people, is to issue its Residents with free Visa Prepaid CitizenCards.

Recycling Lives Residents are given help to start looking after themselves and to deal with the ins and outs of everyday life, such as signing up to a doctor and opening a bank account. For various reasons, many residents do not have ID with them when they arrive, and it is very difficult to do a lot of things unless you can show some form of identification. Until now, Recycling Lives had applied for passports for everyone, but this is an expensive and time consuming process. One of the residents, Billy, found out about the Visa Prepaid CitizenCard and asked if CitizenCard could help.

Chief Executive Andrew Chevis said:

We're delighted to offer these cards free of charge to the Residents. If the 'Big Society' means anything it's about organisations such as ours teaming up with charities such as Recycling Lives, and we hope the cards will be of real value to the Residents.

The cards, which normally cost between £15 and £30 to apply for, can be used to purchase goods and services just like any other Visa card. The difference is that the card is not attached to a bank account – it is topped up with funds (in this case, the Residents' weekly allowance) just like topping up a mobile phone or gas card, allowing individuals to manage their own money without running the risk of getting into debt.

Recycling Lives Charity Manager Mark Channing commented:

This donation is a welcome addition to the range of resources and services we offer our Residents, who have experienced hardship through being homeless and unemployed. We are hugely grateful to CitizenCard for the generous donation.

Recycling Lives was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2010 - www.recyclinglives.org