The council have urged those coming to Bolton town centre this weekend for the Ironman events to donate to charities rather than handing over money to beggars.

The borough will welcome thousands of athletes and supporters across the Night Run, Ironkids and Ironman 70.3 events from today, Friday, until Sunday.

Residents and visitors to the town are asked to give any donations via a branded Hope for Change collection box. 

The council said that the "majority of people" who beg in the street are not homeless but are instead likely to be "facing multiple complex issues such as addiction or poor mental health".

Designed as a “better way to give”, Hope for Change ensures all donations go directly to the Bolton charities and organisations that work with people facing these issues.

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The council’s director of corporate resources, Lee Fallows, said: “We know that town centre begging is a concern for our residents and for local businesses, especially during our major event weekends like Ironman.

“Bolton people are among the most generous in the country and it is only natural that people want to give to those in need.

“Hope for Change is the best way to do this, it ensures your money goes to Bolton charities who can help tackle the complex problems that lead to people begging in the first place.”

Branded Hope 4 Change collection boxes can be found in shops and businesses across the town centre.

Donations are distributed through Bolton Community and Voluntary Services.

Visit for more information.