A CHARITY which hands out food and warm clothes to the homeless has received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
Socks and Chocs was launched when a four-strong group of West Midlands Police officers gave up their Christmas Day in 2010 to help people in need in Birmingham.
Since then it has become a registered charity and now works with homeless services both in the West Midlands and nationally to provides necessities and temporary accommodation.
Current police staff remain involved in the charity which distributed 9,601 pairs of socks, 8,298 chocolate bars and boxes, 136 sleeping bags and just over 4,000 other useful items such as gloves, underwear and hats in 2016.
Socks and Chocs was initially founded by retired ’busking bobby’ Ian Northcott – who received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his charity work.
To mark the Queen’s Award – which recognises outstanding work in communities – a delegation from the charity were invited to a celebratory tea party with other success stories at Buckingham Palace.
Trustee Lesley Jones, a Detective Constable with West Midlands Police, said: “We are honoured to get this award and for the work of everyone at Chocs and Socks to be acknowledged in this way.
“It is a real team effort with the aim of supporting those who need help in communities.
“The motto of Socks and Chocs is ’lots of people doing a little is better than a few doing a lot’ and we are always looking for others to join in and help.”
For more information and to support Socks and Chocs visit the www.socksandchocs.co.uk website.