Caring Derbyshire firm donates more than 500 items of clothing to help the homeless

Steve McConnell, director of Morrison McConnell International based in Riddings, Derbyshire.
Steve McConnell, director of Morrison McConnell International based in Riddings, Derbyshire.

A Derbyshire clothing firm synonymous with brands such as Viyella, Peter England and Tootal has donated more than 500 jumpers, shirts and other items to a charity which supports homeless people.

Morrison McConnell International, which is based in Riddings, has made the donation to Derby charity, Gears of Goodwill.

The donation is intended to help the team support homeless people to stay warm during the winter, as well as giving them the chance to access work wear for interviews and employment.

Steve McConnell, sales director at Morrison McConnell International, said: “The work of Derby’s Gears of Goodwill in supporting homelessness is exceptional and we were keen to support in any way we could.

"Given our extensive clothing ranges, we were in a position to provide practical items such as shirts and jumpers that can offer much needed warmth and comfort as well as giving suitable clothing for work or going for interviews.”

Gears of Goodwill was established in 2015 by a group of bikers with the intention of supporting homeless people and getting their lives back on track.

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The charity eventually aims to have a charity shop and cafe with somewhere for homeless people to have a shower, a hot meal and to get advice.

It hopes to achieve this by charity ride outs where other bike clubs and groups will be invited to take part and through other fundraising events.

Richard Smith from Derby Gears of Goodwill said: “For over two years Derby Gears of Goodwill has run a weekly street kitchen every Friday, where along with hot food, drinks and sandwiches we give out clothing and sleeping bags directly to homeless people, plus offer them a friend to talk to.

"This fantastic donation from Morrison McConnell International will help us provide new, clean and warm clothes to local people that are having a tough time and really can benefit from a helping hand to get their lives back on track.

“Everything we do is reliant on the generous donations from supporters, the time given by volunteers and the goodwill of the local community.

"We also hope to raise profiles of homeless soldiers and help them get the professional support by working with partner charity Soldiers Off the Streets. All this will hopefully build strong ties and friendships with other bike groups and clubs and local charities, where we can all link up and work together to make a difference for the homeless people of Derby.”

Morrison McConnell International is owners and licensees of several well-known British heritage clothing brands including Viyella, Tootal and Peter England.