The organisers of this Friday’s second Birmingham Suit Amnesty are confidently hoping to top the 1,000 mark.
Conceived at a Thrive (corporate social responsibility) forum last summer, the suit amnesty aims to collect hundreds of unwanted suits from local businesses and individuals and hand them on to local charities, where they will be given to people looking for a new start but who are unable to afford a new suit for that all-important job interview which could change their life.
Heart FM’s Ed James and Rachel New were the latest names to sign up for this year’s Birmingham Suit Amnesty, which takes place at Birmingham Town Hall on October 10.
The breakfast show hosts invited Amnesty organiser Graham Nicoll to their Broad Street studios, where Ed donated one of his suits to the charity appeal.
Last year’s amnesty collected 1,000 suits and this year the volunteers are hoping to collect a similar amount that will be distributed to charities. The sessions at Town Hall run from 7.30am to 4.30pm.
Ed James told The Birmingham Post: “It’s such a great simple idea and we were more than happy to get involved, although some of the guys here at Heart were trying to get me to donate my beloved red suit. Instead I found another of my suits that I hope will find a good home and give someone that vital fresh start in life they are looking for.”
Mailwash Dry Cleaning at Broadway Plaza has again agreed to support the amnesty – last year they cleaned nearly 1,000 suits.
This year the dry cleaners are running a special offer for suits to be cleaned before the day itself. They will charge £5 to clean a suit for the amnesty, rather than the usual price of £11.
Graham Nicoll said: “The 2007 event was very successful and again we are asking people to donate their suits whatever size or shape. Last year a lot of time, money and effort was spent on dry cleaning the suits so this year we are asking people to get suits cleaned before they bring them in or consider making a donation to help cover costs.”
He added: “We have many Birmingham companies signed up, but we are looking for many more, as well as individuals who can all bring their suits along to Town Hall on Friday.”
Charities set to benefit include St Basil’s, Acorns, Barnardos, TurningPoint and The Salvation Army.
Anyone who can help can email email@example.com or call 0777 555 4215.