Chestertons has collected over 4,000 coats this year, in its seventh year of supporting Calling London - thanks to members of the public!
The charity collected over 6,000 coats and fleeces in total, which is an incredible success - given the circumstances and challenges posed by Covid-19.
Each year, Chestertons opens its high street branches as collection points for coat donations - and this year was no different. However, this year there was a much lower rate of footfall into our branches, due to Covid-19 restrictions. Despite this, Chestertons and its staff worked with clients, local community groups, businesses and schools to generate awareness of the cause and collect a substantial number of coats in a Covid-safe way.
This year Chestertons and its staff had to think of different ways to approach the collection, and adapt in these unprecedented times. Thousands of donations were made by many generous people, with two members of staff colleting coats to their home addresses, whilst working from home in outer London - managing to collect 490 coats alone!
Following the collection, a number of Chestertons' staff used their annual 'volunteer day' to join other volunteers over the weekend sorting through all donations.
Coats are now being delivered to over 30 charities and shelters across the capital, including: homelessness charity St Mungo's (Chestertons' nominated charity), Crisis at Christmas, Help our Homeless, Dress for Success, Suited & Booted, Hestia and a number of food banks that offer users clothing as well as food.
The Calling London Winter Coat Campaign was established in 2011 by Frances Manthos to help Londoners in need keep warm during the cold winter months. Since launching, the campaign has continued to reach more people, of all ages, who are sleeping rough or unable to afford a winter coat.
Frances says: "Our 10th annual Coat Drive would not have been able to go-ahead this November without the support of Chestertons . The branches made the donating covid-safe, with some staff reaching out to their local communities at home to collect over 600 coats. Our final tally was 6,000 coats, which have already been distributed to charities working with the homeless, with young mothers and babies, with foodbanks and with victims of modern slavery. None of this would have been possible without the energy and commitment of Chestertons."