Give your old coat to a victim of modern slavery this winter

Londoners are being urged to donate their old coats this winter to support vulnerable people in need, including victims of modern slavery currently supported by Hestia.

Property experts Chestertons have partnered with charity London Calling, turning all 34 of its London offices into collection points for people to drop off their unwanted coats.

The collaborative annual Winter Coat Campaign, which started in 2014, is now asking individuals and businesses to rally together to ensure as many coats are collected as possible throughout November.

Once dropped off, all coats will be bagged and distributed to a number of different charities and foodbanks, including Hestia, before Christmas. When coats arrive at Hestia, they will be given to individuals who are currently supported by our Modern Slavery Response team.

Last year alone, Hestia supported more than 1,100 adults victims of modern slavery and 500 dependent children. 

As the days continue to draw in and winter's grasp takes hold, the coats will become crucial for people who otherwise won't be able to afford them.

When Chestertons and Calling London first began their partnership six years ago, just over 500 coats were collected from Londoners, but this figure has since grown significantly, with over 3,000 coats collected last year.

Speaking of the purpose of this years' Winter Coat Campaign, Chesterton's Marketing Director Giles Milner said:

"We know the huge impact a simple item like a warm coat can have on someone who is struggling to cope with the cold winter weather and with Britain forecast for its coldest winter in 30 years, our quest to keep vulnerable Londoners warm has never been more important."

Hestia's latest Underground Lives report recently unveiled that a staggering 1 in 10 people sleeping rough on London's streets are victims of modern slavery. Hekate Papadaki, Head of Innovations and Partnerships for Modern Slavery at Hestia, said that even when people are off the streets and are being supported, they still need essentials like coats.

"The people in our Modern Slavery Response service arrive with just the clothes on their backs. Things like coats are vital - they provide warmth, protection, and are often something we all take for granted. This is a fantastic initiative, and one that could really help vulnerable people through the winter months."

To donate your old coat, head to one of London's 34 drop off points.

You can also help to change lives for victims of modern slavery by giving away your unused smartphones. Every smartphone donated to Hestia will enable a victim to improve or learn to speak English, find their way around London as they settle into new communities, and take photos of their children as they grow up.

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