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Tackling homelessness one sock at a time

Kira Taylor reports on how a Christian entrepreneur has created a fun and tangible way to support the long-term work of local homeless charities


What have you bought for Christmas presents this year? As Christmas fast approaches and the wrapping paper roll grows as thin as ideas for gifts, maybe it’s time to reconsider that sock option.

Don’t worry, though. It’s not all reindeers and ones that play jingle bells (these really do exist). There are some socks, which can do more good than just sitting in the back of a drawer.

Jollie Goods was started in 2012 by a Christian entrepreneur, Ed Vickers, 26, when he worked at a homeless charity and realised the serious demand for socks.

For every pair of socks purchased from Jollie's, another pair of hiking socks are donated to the network of 52 UK homeless charities. (Jollie's tag line is ‘Wear a Pair, Share a pair’). The socks are made from British cotton and packaged in recyclable tin cans.

Ed, who attends Holy Trinity Brompton in London, said, 'I became increasingly frustrated walking past homeless people and not knowing how to help. I didn’t feel comfortable just giving them money, but as I volunteered at a local shelter, I noticed I was being asked for socks every Saturday.

'As a Christian, I believe that our mission is to serve those on the margins and to help them find purpose and dignity in life.'


This year Ed has gone a step further in reshaping alternative gifts by offering apprenticeships to homeless men and women. This gives them the opportunity to develop skills and start to rebuild their lives.

Ed said, 'Providing apprenticeships and having those currently living homeless part of our key operations, gives a greater opportunity to bring more lasting change.'

Shelter suggests that there are up to 250,000 people living on the streets with a separate study suggesting the number could more than double by 2041 if nothing is done to tackle the underlying issues.

Ed said, 'I never thought about starting a business, but since discovering that it was meeting a real need and it is such a simple thing that can help people, I have fallen in love with it and continued to develop our sock range.'

The business is looking to gain more customers and employ more apprentices. By the end of 2017, the company is set to have given away more than 30,000 pairs of socks. The first two apprentices have started and it is hoped another iwill join before Christmas.

So before you discount socks, take a look at these gifts that will bring smiles to more than just those around the Christmas tree. Jollie Goods sells pun-laden gifts, including “socking fillers” or a Jollie’s Sockscription, delivering a new pair of socks each month.

Order and find out more at https://jolliesocks.com/



Baptist Times, 14/12/2017
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