King’s Lynn charity volunteer ‘overwhelmed’ by sock support for homeless campaign
A volunteer is looking to donate dozens of pairs of socks in a bid to prevent foot problems among homeless people after working with a Lynn charity.
Jackie O’Neill, a foot health professional and holistic therapist, launched her ‘Sock it to Me’ appeal last November as a result of her work with the Purfleet Trust.
Although she began volunteering as a means of giving something back to the community, she says she has been inundated with donations with supporters.
And she revealed she has also seen some “shocking” examples of the foot problems that people sleeping rough are experiencing, which she believes show the extent of the need for sock support.
In one case, she found a man was living with a condition called trench foot, which can lead to amputation if it is not treated.
The condition is caused by immersion in cold water or mud and can be seen when surface tissue turns black.
Jackie said: “The man was really lucky because we were able to get him the treatment he needed before the situation became too dire.
“Trench foot can lead to gangrene and people can actually lose their feet as a result.
“Whilst I do my absolute best for the people I’m seeing I soon realised what they really needed was some extra socks.
“I have always given clothes to charity shops, but never socks – I always assumed no-one would want my old socks.
“But people on the streets, people I have been treating, desperately need clean pairs of socks to help keep their feet healthy.
“Imagine having to wear damp and dirty socks, with no chance of getting your feet dry especially at this time of the year and in the recent cold weather.
“I launched the campaign at the end of last year and people have been amazing.
“I have been overwhelmed with many of my clients donating bags of socks and also the local Masons have helped by raising £700 for the appeal.”
Some of the donated socks will be given to the Purfleet Trust, but Jackie, who lives in Wisbech St Mary, is also keen to help people sleeping rough in that area as well.
She is calling for representatives of other homeless charities to contact her if they can pass any of the donated socks onto people in need.
Anyone who would like to help should contact Jackie O’Neill Solemates Foot Health on 01945 419068.