Chris Tomlinson, a second-year marketing student, is making Liverpool’s homeless a little more comfortable this Christmas with his social enterprise, Socks4Homeless.
If you haven’t already heard about Socks4Homeless, it’s an initiative that sells fun, bright or festive socks. For every pair of socks sold, Socks4Homeless donate a pair of thermal socks to the homeless via The Whitechapel Centre.
So far, despite only being open for four weeks, Socks4Homeless have already provided 240 pairs of thermal socks to the homeless and, due to growing demands, they have ordered another 240 pairs.
Speaking about the success, Chris Tomlinson said: “Everyone’s been really positive. We’ve been invited on the radio, TV, phone interviews and we get a lot of messages off people saying they really like what we are doing. It’s proved to us that Liverpool is the greatest city in the world with the best people in the world.”
Chris, who is originally from the Wirral, started Socks4Homeless as part of his undergraduate Entrepreneurship module because he wanted to raise awareness about the homeless. Timing was also key, as Chris believes services and support for the homeless is being constantly cut, rather than funded.
If you’re interested in the project, you can find a huge range of socks on the Socks4Homeless website; from the serious to the striped and the puppy-faced to the Christmas pudding range. Or, if you don’t want to buy a pair of socks for yourself, you can simply donate a pair directly to the homeless.
Chris has also taken part in the University’s Enterprise Programme, which exists to help students start their own businesses and set up freelance careers. By taking part in the programme, Chris explained that he learnt about marketing himself and also made some local business contacts.
In the future, Chris hopes to expand Socks4Homeless and then, once graduated, he plans to set up similar Socks4Homeless enterprises, but on a bigger scale.