AN ONLINE store that allows people to buy essential items for the homeless in London and San Francisco could be coming to Bournemouth.

Crack + Cider was started by Londoners Scarlett Montanaro and Charlotte Cramer, who both work in advertising, as a way for people to give practical help to rough sleepers.

The founders were angry at posters in London boroughs such as Chelsea and Kensington that warned people they would be contributing to the early deaths of rough sleepers if they handed over money.

The posters are similar to a ‘Your kindness can kill’ campaign which run by Bournemouth council.

The Crack + Cider name was inspired by a homeless person who told them: “People don’t give me money because they just think I'll spend it on crack and cider.”

The news that the idea could come to Bournemouth was revealed when Scarlett Montanaro spoke to the the town’s Silicon Beach conference, which focuses on the creative, digital and technical sectors.

She told the audience how the idea started after the couple found themselves saying no to a beggar in Berlin.

“Our idea was that we were going to have a really simple and different way for people to give money that didn’t involve handing over cash," she said.

The website allows people to buy items such as winter jackets, hats, socks, gloves, fleeces and a canine care pack, which are given to rough sleepers in that community. The not-for-profit organisation has also raised money through a pop-up shop.

Ms Montanaro told the conference that it had distributed 7,000 items to the homeless.

Average spend on the site was £29, far above what a donor might give to a rough sleeper in the street.

But she told how the name had provoked debate, while the campaign had been mocked by some online as the work of “hipsters” and “do-gooders”.

Ms Montanaro had been contacted by two people in Dorset's creative and digital sector - Fleurie Forbes-Martin of Salad Creative and Mati Kettell of Bare Collective - about bringing the idea to Bournemouth.

She told the Daily Echo she would be having meetings in Bournemouth during her visit to Silicon Beach.

Bournemouth council did not comment directly about the Crack + Cider idea. A statement from housing strategy and policy manager Caroline Roundhill said: “If anyone is concerned about someone who is rough sleeping we ask that they contact Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or visit so that they can get specialised help and support. Bournemouth council, charities and support teams continue to help people who are homeless in the town year round, assisting people with their needs and helping them to move off the streets.”