Paying It Forward
Paying It Forward refers to paying for something for someone else before they receive it, and without being asked to do so. It's a practice that has gained favour in US Drive-Thru's whereby someone ordering through the intercom tells the cashier that they will pay for the car behind them as well. In it's way it is a simple act of kindness in the hope of generating goodwill within the wider community and society.
At Safer Lives, although we always expect our clients to pay full fees (either in advance or in instalments), there are times when this is not possible and we accept reduced payments. There are other times, such as Derek's story below, where we ask clients to pay only a nominal fee because of particular hardship. We will never ask a client to 'pay it forwards' for an other client who cannot afford our fees, but if a client asks to contribute in this way, then we will accept offers for either a consultation (£50), single Safer Lives Programme session (£100) or for a full programme (£500), and these payments are kept in a separate account and used sparingly and when the need arises. We then ask receiving clients to pay a fee which is usually equivalent to the VAT on our services. For clients who 'pay it forward' in this way we provide a letter of thanks by way of receipt for providing this support.
Derek's Story: When Derek was arrested he immediately lost his employment, relationship and accommodation, and chose to live on the streets of Manchester to avoid the shame of telling friends. As an older man, and in need of medical attention for complex conditions, a street charity referred him into a hostel space where a key worker signposted him to Safer Lives. He pays £10 per session to Safer Lives because of his vulnerability and financial hardship. We only offer such low fees to clients who are in particular hardship and have been signposted by charities or key workers.
We will never ask a client to 'pay it forward' and will never introduce the concept in conversation. If a client (or other person) wants to 'pay it forward' then it is for them to ask and we will explain it further.