Helping to keep feet warm this Christmas

CAN you spare a pair of socks to help someone less fortunate than yourself this Christmas?

That’s the question being posed by Richard Stevens who this week launched his annual Sock Appeal for Surviving Christmas.

The former councillor began the winter initiative in 1994 to help homeless people or those without proper heating keep warm during the coldest time of year.

He asks people to donate a new warm pair of socks for them to distribute to those in need by the charity Surviving Christmas.

At this week’s launch, he said: “I am asking people to include a warm pair of socks on their present lists and to donate them to those less fortunate than themselves.

“Good quality warm socks can prove to be a godsend for those who live on the streets or in cold conditions.”

Surviving Christmas provides a warm welcome, food and hospitality for those with nowhere else to go over the festive period.

The charity opens its doors on Christmas Day and they remains open for Boxing Day and December 27th.

Richard Stevens traditionally delivers all the collected socks to the YMCA in St Paul’s Road, Bohemia, where the charity is based over Christmas.

Since the scheme began, tens of thousands of pairs of socks have been collected, with 1,000 pairs donated last year alone.

Mr Stevens said: “I visited Surviving Christmas in 1994 and when I was there, one of the less fortunate, well-known characters in the town, wwas looking through clothes people had donated and said that socks were never given.

“From those beginnings we have collected every year.”

He reflected: “It is a bittersweet experience. It’s good because you witness people’s generosity but sad that something as humble as a pair of socks is so needed by some people.”

Anyone wishing to take part in the scheme can donate socks at the Creative Media Centre in Robertson Street or inside Hastings Information Centre at the back of the Town Hall.

Please deposit at ‘Sox-Boxes’ in position at both locations.