Chestertons has used its entire network of London estate agencies to collect more than 1,500 unwanted warm winter coats throughout the month of November as part of the annual Coat Drive organised by the Calling London charity. Overall, the charity received more than 2,500 donated coats, up from a total of around 1,900 in 2014.
Now in its fifth year, the Calling London Winter Coat Drive collects warm coats and jackets throughout the month of Novmber, which are then distributed via various other charities to London's most needy people, including the homeless, the elderly, refugees and children in care.
Last year, Chestertons' offices received around 500 coats during the appeal, but this time round that total was more than tripled, with at least 1,564 donated via the firm's network of 33 branches across the capital. Now the 2,500-plus coats raised by the overall campaign have been sorted and cleaned by a team of volunteers, including Chestertons employees, they will be distributed via charities and organisations such as homeless shelters, refugee centres, food banks and care homes.
Giles Milner, Marketing Director of Chestertons, says: "The Calling London Winter Coat Drive gives us a fantastic opportunity to use our extensive branch network to aid an excellent cause. I am incredibly proud of how all of our staff got behind this campaign and came up with some really innovative ways of collecting more coats. I think the result speak for itself!"
"We also have to thank a number of especially proactive companies, schools and individuals that between them collected literally hundreds of bags of coats. These include Marriott Hotels in Maida Vale and Regent's Park, students from Dulwich College, and one gentleman in Australia who saw the appeal on Facebook who is organising an office whip-round and who will be flying over and dropping his coats off in January."
Frances Manthos, founder of the Calling London Coat Drive, adds: "This year has proved the most successful Winter Coat Drive ever, and that's in large part to our working with Chestertons. Our partnership has meant that all across London the public could donate their unwanted coats – from Greenwich to Kentish Town, and from Canary Wharf to Kew. I've met so many staff at the various branches and I credit the fantastic total to their enthusiasm."