I will update this more fully soon but a big thank you to Care UK staff who raised over £500 for Socks and Chocs and donated loads of socks and chocolates and sleeping bags.

Amazing stuff.

Thank you.


Thanks to all your fantastic help we inspired the following number iof items in 2016:

9601 pairs of socks

8298 boxes of chocs

136 sleeping bags

4078 ,miscellaneous

This is a tremendous amount and shows what can happen when lots of people come together to do their little bit!

We also fund emergency B and B accommodation in Birmingham and we are hoping to be able to do more of this if we get more sponsorship/money.

Please feel free to do sponsored events for S and C and use Virgin Money Giving  to set up your page – selecting Socks and Chocs as your charity.

Thank you all.


Socks & Chocs Nordic Walk Across The Somme Tour

Socks & Chocs Nordic Walk Across The Somme Tour – £499 p/p    £99 deposit.

Day One 03/10/17

Bromsgrove area collection – 05:00am

Dover – 09:00am

Ferry – 10:00am (ish)

Other collections can be arranged on route should we need to.

14:00 – 14:30 Visit Vimy ridge memorial, including trenches, tunnels and
visitors centre.

18:00 – 19:00 Check in Hotel at Albert and then a meal at either the hotel or in
town (Not included in the price)

Day Two

Leave hotel 09:00

Walkers will be dropped off at the Blighty tea rooms ready for a 15km walk,
taking in Lochnagar Crater, Fricourt, Devonshire Cemetery plus many other
various cemeteries and points of interest.
Please note there are no facilities on this walk so water must be carried by all

Non Walkers will be guided around the following sites – Lochnagar Crater, Gordon
Dump Cemetery (Bell VC) Fricourt German cemetery, Devonshire and Carnoy
cemeteries including the stories of Wilfred Nevill and two shot at dawn

2pm – We all reconvene for lunch at the Blighty tea rooms (not included in the

3pm – Drive to Mametz wood where we will walk across the front lines down to
Flat Iron Copse cemetery and the memorial to the Welsh divisions – Suitable for
all walkers.
We then drive onto Contalmaison for some short walks around the town and
visiting various sites including Contalmaison chateau cemetery, memorial to
McCraes battalion, and the Bell redoubt. These are short walks and everyone
should be able to participate. However if anyone is unable then non walkers will
also visit these sites.

19:00 – 20:00 – Back to hotel at Albert and then a meal at either the hotel or
in town (Not included in the price)

Day Three

Leave hotel at 09:00

Drive to Thiepval memorial and visitors centre.
Once here time will be spent taking in the stunning memorial and brand new
visitors centre. There is a charge for entry to the visitors centre but this is
included in the price.
Walkers will then walk the Thiepval area taking in the many cemeteries and sites
including the Leipzig and Schwaben redoubts, followed by a walk up to the Ulster
Non Walkers will visit the same sites minus the Leipzig redoubt.

12:30 – Lunch (not included in the price) and guided tour of the Thiepval wood
trenches with Teddy – Suitable for everyone

14:30 – Drive to Avrils tea room in Auchouvillers
Walkers will then take the long walk along the old Beaumont road, taking in
among other sites, the Hawthorn crater, white city and the sunken lane, then
back to Avrils to visit the trench and museum.
Non Walkers will be taken to visit Authuille & Ancre cemeteries, the sunken
lane, 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders memorial, Beaumont Hamel cemetery
and the hawthorn crater.

19:00 – 20:00 –  Back to hotel at Albert and then a meal at either the hotel or
in town (Not included in the price)

Day Four

Leave hotel 09:00

Albert Museum – (There is a charge for this but this is included in the price)
Suitable for all

Newfoundland memorial park – Suitable for all

Ferry home will be around 15:00 – 16:00 and final stop in Bromsgrove will be
around 20:00 – 21:00.

Bookable at

Socks, Chocs, B and B & Vans

Hi all,

A truly great start to 2016 but now we need help.

We are now supplying socks to homeless centres nationally – if you need some get in touch.

We need an army of people who can volunteer to help the trustees meet the monthly commitment of driving to Hertfordshire to collect thousands of socks.  Contact me if you can help.

We also are in desperate need of a Socks and Chocs van.  Can anyone help.

More info to follow on our B and B project.



2015 – Fantastic Year

Well what a wonderful year 2015 was for Socks and Chocs.

It was particularly fabulous because many many schools and groups got involved to make a difference. Thank you all.

2015 saw the following items out to homeless centres nationally (Numbers include people inspired by Socks and Chocs and delivering stuff locally to where they live):

13041 Pairs of Socks

7377 Large Boxes of Chocolates (Or 6 x individual bars)

575 Sleeping Bags

4507 Misc items such as Hats/Gloves/Scarves etc.


If you do prefer to donate cash, we can use that to buy sleeping bags or other target items.  You can text donate.  The team do not get paid for what they do and they do not claim expenses.   Socks and Chocs has unavoidable outgoings to keep the charity legal (insurance, 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.

If you want to donate anything by text then you simply text the word SOCK08 £2 to 70070 (obviously substitute the “2” for the amount you wish to donate.  Thank you.

Thank you all once again.


New Year’s Honours List 2016

New Years Honours List – Ian Northcott BEM

I am honoured and more than a little bit embarrassed that I have been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) as part of the New Years Honours List 2016. I am not sure I deserve it.

The London Gazette lists it as:

“Ian Robert Northcott, lately Police Constable, West Midlands Police. For services to the community particularly Homeless People in the West Midlands”.…/issue/61450/supplement/N32…/new-years-honours-full-mi…

I am pleased that the police work has been mentioned but in my opinion awards should only be for things you do out of paid employment. Therefore I am chuffed to bits that has been recognised as helping people who are homeless, now nationally as well as in West Mids.

I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of my close Socks & Chocs team; Rosie, Kate, Lesley W, Cathy and Rob. (You are all fab).

It would be wrong of me not to thank past members of Socks & Chocs who all helped along the way; Tony, Les B and Mara. Good luck in your new ventures.

Special helpers include; Ness, Nicky and Brian & David (my father and father in law) who act as the logistics team. Dad will wake up tomorrow very proud I think.

There are more people to thank and that is YOU LOT.

I must also thank my wife Liz as she puts up with me constantly taking calls, answering emails and spending nearly all my spare time trying to make Socks & Chocs a success. Thank you.

Socks & Chocs does not work unless we all adopt the mantra “Lots of people doing a little is better than a few doing a lot!” We have certainly done that in 2015 with many many more people, all over the UK, getting involved. Thank you.

We need people to help us with collections this year so if you are willing to drive around for us do get in touch. We don’t pay expenses as we do what we do because we can and because we want to.

You all know that in 2015 we became a registered charity. I am very proud of this. Lesley and I worked for months to make this happen. We are about inspiring people to collect Socks & Chocs and donate them to homeless centres. If we do get cash, however, we can use the money to buy homeless centres what they need and get it delivered direct. Feel free to text donate if you like. (I am doing a sponsored no alcohol for January to help ). Please for your charity if you are doing any sponsored event as we don’t pay staff or have vehicles, premises or anything. The money goes where it should – on target items. We can’t be anymore of a charity.

Anyway, thank you all for your support and I has inspired you to do your bit.

Please share this message and follow us on Twitter @buskingbobby and @socksandchocs it get in touch via email

Together we can make 2016 better in some way. We can’t change the world but we can change someone’s world. Please be part in 2016.


2015 Going Really Well

I cannot begin to thank everyone enough who has taken our initiative to heart.

This year more than any before has seen schools, colleges, work places, companies and supermarkets all doing their bit for us.

It is fantastic to witness.

I will update you more in the early part of next year but for now – Thank you.


Text Giving

As Socks and Chocs group is now registered we can have a text giving account through Just Giving and Vodaphone (free from commission).

This is really useful for the many people who contact us who can’t, or don’t want to run a collection. It also helps all the people who are running marathons and other sponsored events and who need someway of collecting the donations as they compete in the event.

You all know we really want to inspire people but any cash that is donated goes direct to our aims (only a small amount for admin to keep us legal such as insurance etc).

If you want to donate anything by text then you simply text the word SOCK08 £2 to 70070 (obviously substitute the “2” for the amount you wish to donate.

We will be spending any money on target items including socks, underwear and sleeping bags. We will also use some of it to help us with our B and B idea.

“Lots of people doing a little bit is better than a few doing a lot”.

Please share this everywhere.


Socks and Chocs Group Now Registered

It is with great pleasure that I can tell you that Socks and Chocs is now on the Register of Charities.

Registered Charity Number: 1163236

I am very proud of the team and wish to thank you all for your continuing support.