Social enterprise adapts socks made for rough sleepers to help NHS.

Stand4 Socks has produced their Stand4 Health Heroes sock to give health workers an antibacterial pair as well as homeless people.

A social enterprise that donates a pair of socks to homeless people for every one sold have now produced a new design to help keep health workers well-stocked.

Stand4Socks, who have been working with The Big Issue Shop for many years, have started taking pre-orders for their Stand4 Health Heroes socks while their ethical Sedex-assured factories are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new design features an ensemble of clapping hands and the words ‘Clap for our Heroes’ to mark the weekly tradition that sees the nation come together every Thursday to honour frontline health workers.

For every sock sold, two donations will be made instead of the one that the social enterprise usually makes. The first will still go to homeless shelters – where Stand4 Socks have already seen a surge in demand as rough sleepers were moved off the streets due to the virus. The second pair will go to health workers and tap into the antibacterial property that keeps the socks durable and safe for rough sleepers.

Founder Josh Turner said that his firm wanted to react to the need in the health sector after staff from three hospitals got in touch with him to ask for urgent supplies.


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Introducing for pre-order: our Limited Edition ‘Stand4 Health Heroes’ socks that donate 2x pairs straight away. With this purchase your impact is doubled: as well as one pair of socks being donated to someone who is homeless, an extra pair of socks will be donated to our NHS Health Heroes. We have recently learnt of the urgent need for socks in hospitals. PPE only covers down to the ankles, meaning that socks are exposed and have to be left in the hospitals at the end of shifts so that they can be washed daily. Thinking about how we can support during these tough times, and by speaking with hospitals across the UK, we have realised this is where we can have a positive impact. We will as always, be donating our antibacterial socks to homeless shelters. They have seen a huge surge in demand and as our core cause, our work supporting the homeless will continue as always. Our Sedex assured factories are temporarily closed, in order to keep their community and families safe. Therefore the Health Hero sock will be pre-ordered and will be with you as soon as possible as production resumes. However, for every pair we sell today, we’ll be sending a pair of our current stock to NHS hospitals straight away AND an antibacterial pair to the homeless community. Here is an artist’s impression of what the Stand4 Health Hero sock will look like – it may vary slightly but not too much! This is just a very small show of appreciation for our Health Heroes who are working their socks off for us all – Sock on! 💙👏 #Stand4Heroes #clapforourcarers #clapfornhs #clapbecausewecare #nhsheroes

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Josh said: “A lot of businesses and social enterprises are asking: what can we do? But rather than making it a marketing campaign, it is about having an impact.

Everyone wants to do what they can to help currently, but often don’t know how. When I learnt about the NHS staff staying in hotels to protect their own families – I just knew that this was something so small and simple that we could do to play our part.

And it was when the third hospital got in touch with us asking for socks it clicked. It’s much like how homeless shelters used to ask for socks when we were doing more with the UN Global Sustainability Goals, we could see the impact it had there.

The design really captures the feeling of the moment. Thursday nights at 8pm people of all ages up and down the country are clapping for our heroes together. This is such a small, yet powerful gesture from the public – we wanted to capture that in a sock.”

Social entrepreneur Turner has donated more than 41,000 pairs of socks across the UK since the social enterprise kicked off in 2015.

The Big Issue is chronicling the good people doing good things to make a difference in these uncertain times. Head here to see the uplifting work going on to raise a smile around the country.

The above article by Liam Geraghty first published on in Apr, 2020.