jon meech with a coat for Wrap Up London

London charity set for tenth annual Wrap Up coat collection campaign

Charity Hands On London will begin its tenth annual Wrap Up London campaign next week.

The week-long event starts on Monday and aims to collect coats and warm clothing that is then distributed to vulnerable people.

Chief executive Jon Meech, 60, has been Hands on London’s CEO for five years and for him the week is much more than a campaign.

He said: “I always saw Wrap Up London as a big celebration of people coming together to do something absolutely awesome.

“It is a lovely charity with a really good mission that I felt had an awful lot of potential.

“For many people coming in to get a coat was in fact a gateway to explore other issues they had never quite brought themselves to admit or know who to ask about.”

Last year the charity launched similar campaigns across 23 other towns and cities with 75,150 coats being collected.

Despite the success, it is Meech’s hope that one day the charity will not be needed.

He added: “I would like to sit here one day and get no emails, no calls, no one saying we’re having to support people in crisis.

“Our target is to provide a warm coat for everybody that needs it. If next year only 10 people are cold and vulnerable, that’s brilliant.”

This year, Hands On London has seen their efforts diverted to other causes throughout the coronavirus pandemic, such as the food poverty crisis.

Meech said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to see the willingness of the public, businesses and local retailers to help people experiencing food poverty.

“It’s affecting a lot of people for the first time who a year ago would never have thought they would never experience something like this.

“In the early days of the pandemic the food banks were swamped. There was a tidal wave of demand. That’s when we stepped in and provided staff and volunteers.”

The Wrap Up London campaign runs from 9-14 November and further details can be found here.

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