Govia Thameslink Railway sock collectors took in more than 4,170 pairs of socks on Thursday 5 December as GTR joined forces with selected homeless charities joined forces to give those sleeping rough a new pair of socks over the festive period.
Sock collections took place at train stations across the network as part of the rail operator’s commitment to support homelessness initiatives in local communities. GTR volunteers held the festive collections at eight stations across the network, as well as teams collecting at offices and depots across the network.
Often overlooked as an unimportant accessory, a pair of socks is essential for those sleeping rough to keep feet warm and dry. Without them, there is a great risk of blisters, fungal infections and even trench foot.
So passengers, friends, GTR employees and anyone else passing by were asked to support the homeless this Christmas with the gift of a pair of socks.
GTR chief operating officer Steve White said: “We have been overwhelmed with the response and support for the activity and want to thank our customers and colleagues for their generous donations.
“This is the first year for the Great Sock Appeal and overall, we collected in excess of 4,170 pairs of socks.
“We are thrilled to have been able to support such a worthy cause during the cold winter period.”
Jim O’Connor, chief executive of charity partner, NOAH Enterprise said; “On behalf of the people who are homeless and, in too many cases, rough sleeping this Christmas, we at NOAH Enterprise say thank you to GTR’s customers for their generosity and kindness in donation over 4,000 pairs of socks for the use and comfort of people living on the streets. Our thanks go equally to Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and all of their staff for making possible this tremendous and warming gesture.
“Wishing you and all GTR travellers a very Happy Christmas – you have contributed to making it so for others who have so little.”
Collections took place at eight stations with local charities involved at each one:
- Bedford – NOAH Enterprise
- Luton – NOAH Enterprise
- St Albans – Centre 33
- Stevenage – Helping Herts Homeless
- Royston – Helping Herts Homeless
- Blackfriars – The Connection at St Martins
- East Croydon – Spire
- Brighton – Brighton Housing Trust
GTR also worked with national homeless charity St Mungos to help identify local shelters and charities across the route to benefit from the network-wide collections.