Wrap Up London is an initiative run by charity Hands On London annually over the past decade. Simply put, Wrap Up London gathers donations of coats from across the capital and then work with a wide variety of services including food banks, homeless shelters and charities such as Crisis to ensure the coats are given to those who need them.
Last year alone, Wrap Up London received 27,000 coats and this year they are already on track to reach 30,000. The coats go far outside London, including being distributed internationally in French refugee camps.
The logistics of collecting, sorting and processing several thousand coats is a challenging issue, and London CRC Community Payback have stepped in to help, providing service users with the task of unpacking donations and sorting the coats by gender and size.
Service users also carry out the important work of dating the sacks to ensure they quarantine for the appropriate amount of time, and also design and write cards to go in the pockets of each coat. These cards are bright, cheerful winter artworks and inside the service users write messages of hope and encouragement.
London CRC currently provide on average 12 service users a day towards the voluntary efforts carried out by Wrap Up London and service users are responding exceptionally well to the project. It’s a fantastic project which provides a great opportunity for service users to pay back to the community.
Colleagues from Community Payback are tackling these new challenges with aplomb, as they have done since the early stages of the pandemic, making exceptional effort to continue supporting service users and the projects they work on. Head of CP, Claire Farquhar, said ‘it’s all hands on deck!’