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Social enterprise adapts socks made for rough sleepers to help NHS

Stand4 Socks has produced their Stand4 Health Heroes sock to give health workers an antibacterial pair as well as homeless people

Stand4Socks

A social enterprise that donates a pair of socks to homeless people for every one sold have now produced a new design to help keep health workers well-stocked.

Stand4Socks, who have been working with The Big Issue Shop for many years, have started taking pre-orders for their Stand4 Health Heroes socks while their ethical Sedex-assured factories are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new design features an ensemble of clapping hands and the words ‘Clap for our Heroes’ to mark the weekly tradition that sees the nation come together every Thursday to honour frontline health workers.

For every sock sold, two donations will be made instead of the one that the social enterprise usually makes. The first will still go to homeless shelters – where Stand4 Socks have already seen a surge in demand as rough sleepers were moved off the streets due to the virus. The second pair will go to health workers and tap into the antibacterial property that keeps the socks durable and safe for rough sleepers.

Founder Josh Turner said that his firm wanted to react to the need in the health sector after staff from three hospitals got in touch with him to ask for urgent supplies.

Josh said: “A lot of businesses and social enterprises are asking: what can we do? But rather than making it a marketing campaign, it is about having an impact.

“Everyone wants to do what they can to help currently, but often don’t know how. When I learnt about the NHS staff staying in hotels to protect their own families – I just knew that this was something so small and simple that we could do to play our part.

“And it was when the third hospital got in touch with us asking for socks it clicked. It’s much like how homeless shelters used to ask for socks when we were doing more with the UN Global Sustainability Goals, we could see the impact it had there.

“The design really captures the feeling of the moment. Thursday nights at 8pm people of all ages up and down the country are clapping for our heroes together. This is such a small, yet powerful gesture from the public – we wanted to capture that in a sock.”

Social entrepreneur Turner has donated more than 41,000 pairs of socks across the UK since the social enterprise kicked off in 2015.

The Big Issue is chronicling the good people doing good things to make a difference in these uncertain times. Head here to see the uplifting work going on to raise a smile around the country.

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