Govia Thameslink Railway's Great Sock Appeal collects over 4,000 socks Image GTR

Sock collections took place across the Govia Thameslink Railway network

More than 4,170 pairs of socks were donated at stations across the Govia Thameslink Railway network on Thursday 5th December, to support six key homeless shelters across the route.

In Bedfordshire the collections were held at Bedford (pictured) and Luton stations. The selected homeless charity at these stations was NOAH Enterprise. The Luton-based charity runs a welfare centre all year round and provides hot meals to people who have fallen on hard times.

Jim O’Connor, chief executive of NOAH Enterprise, said:

“On behalf of the people who are homeless and, in too many cases, rough sleeping this Christmas, we at NOAH Enterprise say thank you to GTR’s customers for their generosity and kindness in donation over 4,000 pairs of socks for the use and comfort of people living on the streets.

“Our thanks go equally to Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and all of their staff for making possible this tremendous and warming gesture.

“Wishing you and all GTR travellers a very Happy Christmas – you have contributed to making it so for others who have so little.”

Often overlooked as an unimportant item, for those sleeping rough, a pair of socks is essential for keeping feet warm and dry. Without them, there is a great risk of blisters, fungal infections and even trench foot.

Steve White, chief operating officer at GTR, said:

“We have been overwhelmed with the response and support for the activity and want to thank our customers and colleagues for their generous donations.

“This is the first year for the Great Sock Appeal and overall, we collected in excess of 4,170 pairs of socks. We are thrilled to have been able to support such a worthy cause during the cold winter period.”

GTR worked also with national homeless charity St Mungos to help identify local shelters and charities across the route to benefit from the network-wide collections, with a total of 4,172 pairs of socks collected at the 8 stations on 5 December and through staff donations.