Step in the right direction for sock campaign to help the homeless

Hundreds of pairs of socks have been donated to a campaign run by Jackie.

Hundreds of pairs of socks have been donated to a campaign run by Jackie. - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of pairs of socks have been donated to a campaign run by a woman in Wisbech St Mary helping the homeless get back on their feet.

Hundreds of pairs of socks have been donated to a campaign run by Jackie.

Hundreds of pairs of socks have been donated to a campaign run by Jackie. - Credit: Archant

Jackie O’Neill gives up her time to run a makeshift foot clinic for clients of the homeless charity the Purfleet Trust in King’s Lynn.

She now works at the Solemates clinic in Wisbech St Mary as a foot health professional, but she wanted to take her new-found skill and do more for the community.

Since volunteering there last September, she noticed a lot of their clients were wearing damp socks or no socks at all and realised very few were donated to the charity.

Without clean, dry socks, Ms O’Neill found this exacerbated foot problems for a lot of the homeless. She has seen people with trench foot, dry, cracked skin, fungal nails and infections.


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This prompted her to set up the Sock It To Me campaign, where she collects donations to hand out to clients at the Purfleet.

But after an article was run last month, she says she has been ‘inundated’ with socks.

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The 56-year-old explained: “It is fantastic and I’ve been inundated with socks and people are still phoning in saying they have pairs to give me.

“I have had such a positive response and received bin bags full of them. It means that those who may not have a pair or come with wet socks can now have two or more to keep warm.

“I would love to be able to hear from other charities to see if we could expand it. That would be amazing.

She continued: “I was determined to do something to help people. If you’re homeless your feet is your only mode of transport usually.

“I know people donate clothes and socks are one thing people don’t think to donate, thinking nobody would want their second hand socks.”

Ms O’Neill worked in Whitemoor Prison for 15 years before taking voluntary redundancy and stepping towards a new path in life.

She volunteers at the Purfleet Trust, in St Ann’s Fort, once every fortnight on Thursdays.

For more information, visit the Solemates Facebook page www.facebook.com/Yourfeetinsafehands.

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