Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Shoe shop steps up to help homelessness charity

Michael Keenan and Mark Blaylock


One of Swindon's longest-established independent retailers has teamed up with homelessness charity Threshold Housing Link to help provide shoes for the town's growing homeless population.

Old Town-based Blaylocks, which celebrates its 100th anniversary later this year, is collecting old but wearable shoes, which are distributed to homeless people through Threshold.

The campaign was launched just before Christmas, and by the new year more than 125 pairs of shoes had been donated.

"We wanted to help the people in Swindon and particularly at this time of the year where it is getting a lot colder you tend to think about the homeless, that is why I decided to collect old but wearable shoes/boots that people store in a cupboard or under the bed thinking they will wear them again someday but never do," explained proprietor Mark Blaylock.

"We have had an amazing response to this and have received over 125 pairs of men’s and lady’s footwear that I have cleaned up with some polish and replaced the laces if they needed new ones. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time to bring some footwear into the shop and donate for this very worthy cause."

Threshold’s chief development officer Michael Keenan said: "This is exactly the kind of practical assistance which will help the homeless on Swindon streets and we thank Mark and everyone at Blaylocks along with their generous customers for providing this wonderful donation of pre-loved footwear.

"From the moment we started unboxing the shoes they were walking out the door with happy service users."