A lot of people doing a little, is better than a few people doing a lot. That’s the motto of ex serviceman Ian Northcott BEM (AKA the “Busking Bobby”). In 2010 he decided he wanted to do something to help the homeless people of Birmingham – and that’s where Socks and Chocs began.

It is now national and a registered charity with the Charity Commission.

The aims or “Objects” of Socks and Chocs Group are:

To relieve hardship and distress among homeless people and among those in need who are living in adverse housing conditions.  In particular but not exclusively by:

  • The provision of essential items such as bedding, toiletries and clothing.
  • Funding essential health needs which is not already readily accessible such as foot care;
  • By funding short term emergency accommodation particularly (but not limited to) times of cold or otherwise inclement weather.

Socks & Chocs’ Trustees do not take any money at all in salary or expenses.  (We can pay mileage and limited other expenses for non-trustee helpers who might collect socks on our behalf but so far people do not want money they simply want to help)

One part of what we do is to inspire collections of socks, chocs, sleeping bags and gloves all over the country so you can deliver to a homeless centre in your own community.  (Please do not collect jumble – just the items mentioned).

We also run our “Big Push” from September to Christmas to ensure homeless centres have supplies for the winter.

We also run B&B projects in various cities as well as funding life-skills courses, paying rent for homeless centres and supporting people into permanent accommodation.

Socks and Chocs has unavoidable outgoings to keep the charity legal (insurance, excessive travel costs, training costs, accountancy fees etc).  Apart from these necessary fees all other money donated is spent on items needed and requested by the homeless centres we work with.

The team do what they do because they can and because they want to.

If you wish to help us in our work you can donate here:


Socks and Chocs