We’re proud to support such a variety of meaningful causes through our Gift Your Gear initiative. The pre-loved outdoor kit that we collect and send out means organisations such as Plymouth Soup Run can provide warm, protective clothing to the people who visit their nightly soup runs.
Plymouth Soup Run rely on volunteers on a weekly basis, like Josh, and Maddie, a Team Leader. The night before we talked, in terrible weather, Josh, Maddie and their team had taken to the streets of Plymouth to serve food to over 100 people, with 3 crates of Gift Your Gear donations at hand for anyone who needed extra layers or waterproofs to protect them from the elements.
Plymouth Soup Run provide much-needed support 365 days of the year. Every Monday night, Maddie, Josh and the rest of their team serve around 100 people across four stops. They use a minibus to transport their volunteers and supplies, serving hot food from two tables at the back of the bus and warm drinks, food to takeaway, and extra supplies including Gift Your Gear donations, from the front. Many visitors use rucksacks donated through our Gift Your Gear initiative to carry and store these essentials.
Maddie, who has been running Monday nights at the Soup Run for 15 years, has noticed that the number of people waiting each night has increased dramatically over the past year. While the team used to serve 30 – 40 people each night across four meeting points, it’s now common to see that many people waiting at just the first stop.
Donations from local businesses mean that the Soup Run are able to cook and serve a variety of hot meals to people in need. In January 2022, Plymouth Soup Run served 2,278 meals and provided 51 sleeping bags and blankets to rough sleepers. They also made 26 referrals to the Path (Plymouth Access to Housing) Rough Sleeper Team, an independent local charity who work with people living on the streets, aiming to support them into accommodation. Eight clients were treated by volunteer podiatrists from the charity Forgotten Feet, who regularly visit the Soup Run.
Street Vet are also frequent supporters of Plymouth Soup Run, heading out with them every other week to offer on-the-spot treatment, follow-ups and vaccinations to any pets belonging to Soup Run visitors. Josh and Maddie explain that animals are a lifeline to anyone sleeping rough, so Street Vet are a hugely valuable part of the Soup Run’s service.
Plymouth Soup Run has been running for 25 years, and right now their services are needed more than ever. January 2022 saw the team serve 19 more meals per night than in January 2021, and Josh and Maddie have noticed a real uplift in the number of people who visit them at each stop. When you donate to our Gift Your Gear initiative, you’re helping us to provide charities like Plymouth Soup Run with the outdoor kit they need to keep their visitors protected. As a thank you for your donation, you’ll receive 15% off^ your next full-price purchase.
You can donate to Gift Your Gear online or in any of our Rohan stores. To find out more, take a look at the dedicated page our website – rohan.co.uk/giftyourgear.