Every Christmas, the amazing Wrap Up London campaign collects donated coats for charities across the city at London Underground and public drop-off points; it’s a vital support for homeless, elderly and refugee people and the team was committed to meeting the demand despite 2020’s difficult lockdown and Covid restrictions.
However, Wrap Up London (organised by the charity Hands On London) faced tricky challenges as Tube stations couldn’t be used, most people were working from home and the usual storage wouldn’t be able to meet the requisite social distancing and space to quarantine donated coats. However, help was at hand...
“In true 2020 spirit, the regular Wrap Up London volunteers decided to hold Tube and office collections from home,” explains Jon Meech, Chief Executive Officer of HandsOn London. “Storage was still a problem until Broadgate offered us a 6,500 square foot unit with access to a loading bay. This was the final key to the puzzle and meant that Wrap Up London 2020 could definitely go ahead.
“The space enabled up to 20 volunteers to attend, sort and distribute coats in a safe Covid-compliant way. There was sufficient space to quarantine coat donations before they were sorted and again before dispatch. Wrap Up London collected 20,907 coats with 18,000 passing through the unit at Broadgate. This was about 40 vans’ full – delivery and collection.
“Most importantly though, every year there’s a Wrap Up Team at the Fulcrum and 2020 was no different. Nineteen sacks of coats were collected during these three mornings – about 250 coats in total. This was the only one of our normal collection points still operating; we didn’t realise the impact of this until a lady came running up with a coat to donate and a tear in her eye. She said that she had experienced such a horrible year that to see us standing by the Fulcrum collecting coats just the same as we always did made her feel quite emotional.”
Wrap Up London would like to say a bit thank you to everyone who donated and if you’d like to support their work – you can also donate online here.
About Hands On London
During the summer, their Brighten Up London Campaign inspires over 2,600 people to enhance London’s Green Spaces, Community Gardens, Parks and Charity Farms. Their volunteers create new spaces, improve existing ones and make the city a better place for everyone. During November, they all come together for Wrap Up London.
Having just completed its ninth year, the campaign has collected and distributed over 158,000 warm coats for those most in need. Almost entirely volunteer-led, the campaign attracts support from across the country and has inspired volunteers in 24 towns and cities to launch their own collection as part of the growing Wrap Up Family.