Clothes for the homeless: Virgin Trains to repurpose old staff uniforms transformed by prisoners

Virgin Trains have shown yet again why they have achieved gold Investors in People status by getting ready to equip the homeless and their furry friends over the winter months with old staff uniforms transformed by prisoners.

The worn-out clothing from over six years – most items in the trademark red – were originally coats, shell jackets, shirts, trousers and suits, all of which will be made into scarves, blankets and unbranded dog coats.

Prisoners at HMP Northumberland have worked hard at their onsite textile factory to transform the garments, while some branded dog coats with the Virgin Trains logo will be given to staff in return for a donation – with the profits going to charity.

Jo Buckley, Community Manager with Virgin Trains, said: “It’s so rewarding to see the repurposed uniform benefitting those who really need a little warmth and comfort during the winter months.

“We set ourselves the challenge to be creative and socially responsible with disposing of these old uniforms. It’s also a smart and socially responsible way to handle our waste.”

Items will either be distributed by Virgin Staff at London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street and Glasgow Central or will go to local charities to go to the homeless.

This initiative follows on from Virgin Trains’ recent partnership with Change Please Coffee – a social enterprise staffed by the homeless to help the homeless.

Virgin Trains have twice won gold Investors in People status in 2010 and 2013 and have nearly tripled the number of trains carrying passengers between London and Manchester – however from December they will no longer be associated with the popular West Coast mainline route as FirstGroup will take over.

Image courtesy of jamesZ_Flickr with thanks.

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