When one of the members of the New Century Lions Club of East Anglia (NCLCEA) was donated initially over 40 pairs of steel capped boots from his place of work, little did he know what would be instore for these boots that were destined for landfill.

Boxed and worn for just a few days during a training course, these boots are discarded after use. After searching locally for a cause to donate them too, the boots were finally snapped up when another member found new homes for them.

The boots not only prevent the homeless in East Anglia from the wet and cold, the main cause of Trench Foot, but also enable the homeless and rough sleepers to make the first step in finding work as manual labourers.

The boots not only prevent the homeless in East Anglia from the wet and cold, the main cause of Trench Foot, but also enable the homeless and rough sleepers to make the first step in finding work as manual labourers.

The boots and high vis vests are often a mandatory requirement for work, and often surviving on just donations, the prospect of buying such boots seems impossible.

After speaking with several local Homeless charities across the East Anglian region and visiting a few, over 110 pairs of boots were donated during December along with 240 pairs of thermal socks, from Chelmsford to Clacton and out as far as Ipswich.

The club are hoping that this is the start of a new longer-term project, as the supply of boots is continuous, kindly donated by Mantra Learning Ltd.

If any Lions club are interested in helping to redistribute the boots to their local homeless charities, please contact Kelly-Marie (LionKellyMarieT@yahoo.com or 07969848238) or Derek Penney (derekjpenney@gmail.com or 07983616104) of NCLCEA.

The homeless are also in need of High Vis Jackets to enable them to work as well as the boots, and any club that would like to take part are encouraged to do so. Men’s underwear is also very much needed.

The project which has donated over £1700 of products to 7 local charities so far, has established valuable community connections, raised the profile of our organisation and has been thanked numerous times via social media and the recipients of the boots.

The #Soles for Souls project not only helps local homeless community projects, it raises awareness of Lions Clubs International, and helps with the growing environmental issues by recycling perfectly good footwear that would otherwise be sent to landfill and which could take over 40 years to break down.

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