The Connection at St Martin’s and Govia Thameslink Railway, the UK’s largest rail network, will join forces this Christmas to provide support for the homeless in London as the winter frost takes hold. The new initiative, Great Sock Appeal, will encourage rail commuters at Blackfriars to donate a pair of new socks for those sleeping rough over the festive period.
Often overlooked as an unimportant item, for those sleeping rough, a pair of socks is essential for keeping feet warm and dry. Without them, there is great risk of blisters, fungal infections and even trench foot. This basic item of clothing is also responsible for keeping feet healthy, maintaining good circulation and managing diabetes.
Following on from recent support of WrapUp London, Govia Thameslink Railway continues its campaign to support the homeless this winter with Great Sock Appeal. A special donation point will be set up at Blackfriars on 5th December, offering the opportunity for everyone to donate a new pair of socks to those in need through The Connection at St Martin’s.
Amidst a national homelessness crisis which has seen which has seen levels of all types triple since 2010, most of those sleeping on the streets this winter won’t have access to something as simple as a clean, warm pair of socks. With temperatures plummeting on UK streets this December it takes just 30 minutes for frostbite to take hold, meaning socks are crucial for surviving the winter.
Charlotte Talbott, Director of Services at The Connection St Martin’s says; “We see around 150 people a day in our busy drop-in and almost everyone is in need of a new pair of socks. When people are sleeping rough, it is difficult to keep feet dry and wet feet can very quickly turn into cold feet. Having fresh, warm pairs of socks to give out in the centre will definitely put a smile on people’s faces!
Steve White, Chief Operating Officer at GTR said: “After speaking to The Connection at St Martin’s we learnt how vitally important a new pair of socks really is for keeping feet warm and dry, and we are delighted to support them in this work.
Christmas is a time for giving, and all it takes is one pair of socks, less than the price of a coffee, to improve the life of a homeless person this winter. We want to thank our customers and colleagues for their ongoing support for those in need.”