Fundraising News: Shelter ties in with Diet Coke to talk to women

Shelter has courted further controversy by agreeing a fundraising partnership with Diet Coke.

The homelessness charity embarked on the partnership after being criticised for running a promotion with wine bar group Spirit, which gives Shelter 20p every time someone buys two large glasses of house wine.

It is now running a campaign called 'Sanctuary' with Diet Coke. It aims to make young women aware that Shelter is there for advice and support on housing.

Liz Monks, deputy director of fundraising, said it was too good an opportunity to talk to a new audience to pass up.

"Young women are particularly at risk of homelessness because of issues such as affordability, domestic violence or the break-up of relationships, and working with Diet Coke is a chance to talk to this audience in a way that is relevant to them," she said.

Diet Coke approached the housing and homelessness charity to suggest a partnership.

Celebrities including Sadie Frost and Denise Van Outen have produced designs showing their ideas about sanctuary, which have been used on the cans and on one-off handbags by fashion designer Pauric Sweeney. The bags will be auctioned to raise further funds.

Coca-Cola has been hit by protests in the UK and abroad over allegations about workers' rights and water use by bottling contractors. The company has denied responsibility for the behaviour of its suppliers.

Monks said: "It's naive to say we ignore other issues. We do check out the balance of risks with the advantages, but as a charity we don't comment on issues that are not our concern."

John Hilary, director of campaigns and policy at War on Want, said: "Whether in its treatment of workers in Colombia or its disastrous impact on farming communities in India, Coca-Cola is making itself a lot of enemies across the world."

He added: "We don't comment on partnership decisions made by other NGOs."

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