Socks scheme offers warmth for homeless

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socks4homeless logo © Socks4Homeless

Logo © Socks4Homeless

Putting on a warm pair of socks this winter could also be providing comfort for the homeless, thanks to a new scheme run by students.

A social enterprise called Socks4Homeless has been set up by seven students at the University of Liverpool, and involves every item sold on their website resulting in a brand new pair of thermal socks being given to one of the many people sleeping rough on the streets of Liverpool.

Homelessness is one of Liverpool’s most pressing issues, and despite all the charities that are out there to help this problem, there is still a struggle to find fresh underwear and socks from clothing donations.

According to statistics (homeless.org.uk), there was almost a doubling in the amount of people applying to be deemed homeless in 2016 in Liverpool alone, with other Merseyside areas seeing an increase.

Socks are available for sale for both men and women, as well as an option to get a random pair delivered to your door. Choices range from simple striped and argyle styles to cartoon dog and cat designs, as well as some festive selections, with each pair coming to a cost between £4.50 to £5.50. Once the socks are bought, another pair gets donated to the Liverpool homelessness charity, the Whitechapel Centre.

Organisers hope to expand their idea by providing underwear in the future.

YouTube: JMU Journalism (2013)

Socks4Homeless Managing Director, Chris Pomlinson, told JMU Journalism: “It’s something I’ve always been passionate about. There are a lot of statistics you hear that are quite worrying, like Shelter’s release recently that one in three people are just one pay cheque away from losing their homes

“Homelessness is on the increase, so it [the idea] basically came from that, and we recently became aware that underwear and sanitary products are two of the most needed and under-donated items. We decided to start a social enterprise addressing that.”

He is thrilled with the response to the drive so far, adding: “It’s been overwhelming – just the past 12 hours alone we’ve taken in around £400-500 and we’ve managed to buy over 200 pairs of socks for the homeless, so it has really taken off. We’re trying [to cope with demand], we’re getting there.”

About James Jones, JMU Journalism