C & C Winter Collection for The Passage

Written by C & C Alpha Group employee, Osama Shafiq

As winter encroaches and frost begins to touch the increasingly dark mornings, C & C Alpha have been working to help The Passage charity prepare for the coming months.

When we first started our partnership with The Passage they floated a number of ideas of how we could help them in their support of homeless people in the Victoria area. One idea we were immediately passionate about was running a clothing collection specifically aimed at collecting more winter clothes for The Passage’s clients.

Most of the clothing that is donated to the charity is formal wear or summer wear, and so we needed to come up with something aimed specifically at combatting the winter temperatures.

We asked employees whether they had anything spare at home, or even, if they felt generous, to provide something new. The first two days saw a trickle of donations, but when I came into the office on the third day it seemed that everywhere you looked there were boxes full of clothing. Much of what people provided was new, and the clothes will be picked out by men and women when they visit the storage within which it is kept at The Passage.

Amongst the priority items we donated were socks and underwear, hoodies, jeans, trainers and jackets. We also provided board games, clay for pottery, jewellery, sewing equipment and colouring pencils for Art and Well Being Groups at The Passage.

The charity is increasingly reliant on voluntary financial support as a consequence of government funding cuts year on year. Running the charity costs more than £4.5 million a year, and 70% of its revenue comes from fundraising. This really emphasises the importance of C & C and other companies providing donations that can make a real difference to people.

Donations are important, but so too is getting involved personally to do what you can.

With this in mind, we will be launching our own C & C Kitchen Takeover, where we are volunteering our time to cook lunch for 150 clients under the supervision of two volunteer chefs from the charity. The Passage serve 150 people on a daily basis, and we will be preparing soup, two main courses and a pudding.

The Kitchen Takeover is a really good idea – it is a chance for our staff to get directly involved in the work that the charity does and to see the impact on the lives of their clients on a daily place.

I am really looking forward to going. Whether we like to admit it or not, we live in a wealthy country with many opportunities. There are lots of services provided, but it is so sad to see people on the streets, regardless of why or how they got there.

It is important to work to change that where possible. I work in a great office for a large company, and if I can use my position to help someone else – why would I not? I just hope that my cooking will be up to scratch.