Adil Ray has agreed to support the Birmingham based charity Socks and Chocs which collects socks, chocolates, sleeping bags and underwear to give to homeless centres in the West Midlands and nationally.
The initiative was started in 2010 by Ian Northcott after the former policeman wanted to do something to help people who find themselves homeless. In that year the team raised about 1000 pairs of socks for the Birmingham Christmas Shelter. The initiative grew slowly taking in Wolverhampton and Coventry until in 2013 an extraordinary thing happened.
Ian was on duty in full uniform in Birmingham and borrowed a buskers guitar to belt out an Oasis hit to a massive crowd. This was caught on camera and was viewed over 750000 times worldwide. The resulting exposure, as Brum’s Busking Bobby, took the socks count up to 8500 in 2013.
2014 saw Ian receiving a Point of Light Award from the PM and being honoured to receive a Pride of Brum award. This highlighted the work of Socks and Chocs and in that year Socks and Chocs inspired the donations of over 17000 pairs of socks, 21000 large bars or boxes of chocolate, nearly 600 sleeping bags and nearly 3000 other items such as hats, gloves and underwear.
Adil said “What impressed me the most about Socks and Chocs is the fact that they want to inspire local communities to do their bit and none of the team claim any salary or expenses whatsoever. They do it because they want to and because they can, so why can’t you or I?”
Omara Ashraf, a member of Ian’s team said “We are delighted Adil has agreed to support us to help with publicity”.
Going forward Socks and Chocs is hoping to fund a B and B project to get rough sleepers into short term accommodation so that they can be offered further help as well as continuing to inspire people nationally to run their own collections and take them to a homeless centre near them.
Adil joked “Rusty Lee and Jasper Carrot were obviously busy but I am delighted to help such a simple idea that can have a massive effect. I hope to go out with the team later in the year and give them my support. Do join me”.
Socks and Chocs need your help so please visit www.socksandchocs.co.uk for more details and remember as Ian says “Lots of people doing a little is better than a few doing a lot!”
For now Adil has only one small request “Pull your socks up and put your socks out”.