As Christmas draws closer and the streets are lined with fairy lights and festive decorations, it’s easy to look past the 4000 rough sleepers in England and the many families living in poverty. But the sad reality is that thousands of people are forced to endure freezing conditions without something as basic as a coat to keep them warm.

The simple premise of Kind Coats was born out of the idea that one act of kindness is enough to make a positive impact on someone’s day. Fay Sibley, one of the founders of Kind Coats, was inspired to take action after she saw a picture of a rail with a sign saying “Need one? Take one. Want to help? Leave one” and she set up a coat exchange in her hometown of Colchester.

Sibley, along with her co-founder Sarah Fletcher started with just 12 coats in her local community, and this simple idea has now grown to hundreds of donated coats across the country. We’re sure that many of you reading this post will have unwanted, unworn or unloved coats that could be donated to help someone in need this winter.

According to the Kind Coats website, all you need to step one up of your own is:

– Rail
– Cover
– Rail Sign
– Cable Ties
– Coat Hangers
– Laminater or Plastic Pockets


“1. Identify a good site.

Choose somewhere which can be seen so it is easy for others to donate and take coats but that is also a little out of the way so not to create obstructions. If you can, choose somewhere which can provide some shelter from the wind and rain or use a plastic cover.

2. Get a clothes rail ready.

If you don’t have one around the house, stores like Argos sell them, and they also sell clear plastic covers which are ideal to provide extra protection for the coats from the rain.

We have found it’s helpful to put some spare coat hangers in the rail, and best to cable tie them to the rail so they do not fall off and get lost.

We have also found, by attaching cable ties to each other to form a cable tie ribbon it’s useful to attach the rail to something if you can so it does not blow away or fall over.

3. Make your sign.

It’s important to tell people what the rail and coats are there for. The wording we have found helpful to use is: “Need One? Take One, Want To Help? Leave One.”

Make the sign nice and big, A4 size is ideal, and make sure the sign is waterproof and easy to read. You could laminate it or put it in a plastic pocket. It is them easy to staple the sign to the plastic cover or use cable ties to attach them to the rail.”

Check out their video below for more information and we hope you’ll feel inspired to make one too!

Amazing Humans: Coat Exchange

Fay kept the homeless warm with this simple idea. Kindness is catching, spread the message. (Via BBC Three)

Posted by BBC Two on Monday, 23 January 2017