A NORTH-East shoe company is urging people to donate their unwanted footwear to help vulnerable and homeless people through the winter months.

Charles Clinkard has teamed up with the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation and is asking customers to drop off shoes they no longer wear to its Middlesbrough store on Corporation Road.

Recent research suggests that at least 320,000 people in Britain are homeless, which includes rough sleepers and people in temporary accommodation.

Despite the already high numbers, it is thought this figure underestimates the crisis as it doesn’t capture ‘hidden homelessness’, such as those sleeping on sofas or insecurely in cars and sheds.

The ‘Caring Soles’ shoe appeal will run from today until Christmas Eve and customers will receive a £5 voucher in exchange for their donations.

Managing director Charles Clinkard said: “No one should have to experience homelessness or feel vulnerable and we can only imagine how difficult it must be, especially during winter.

“Something as basic as a warm pair of shoes may not seem like a luxury to many of us, but can make a real difference to those in need."

All shoes donated to Charles Clinkard will be distributed through the connections of the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation. Shoes must be in a wearable condition.