Govia appeals to find caring commuter who donated coat on cold morning

Govia Thameslink Railway is searching for a passenger who literally took the coat off his own back a

Govia Thameslink Railway is searching for a passenger who literally took the coat off his own back at Kings Cross station yesterday to give a vulnerable person a warmer winter. Picture: Govia Thameslink - Credit: Archant

Govia Thameslink is searching for a passenger who donated the coat off his back yesterday, to give to a vulnerable person this winter.

The train operator had organised a collection of coats at Kings Cross, St Pancras and Blackfriars stations in partnership with the capital-wide Wrap Up London campaign.

In just two hours during the morning peak, generous passengers donated more than 800 coats to be distributed by charities supporting people in need of winter clothes.

One commuter on the Great Northern line arrived at Kings Cross and donated a coat he had brought, then took off the coat he was wearing and handed that to staff at the ticket gate as well.

Paula Hilliard, who led the GTR team that organised the coat collection, said: "This is a prime example of the care and compassion our passengers have for fellow human beings less fortunate than them.

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"It was a really cold morning, which made it a particularly memorable act of kindness. We don't know who the man is but we would like to get in touch with him to thank him more formally."

This was the second year that GTR have worked with Wrap Up London, an association that started when Paula saw an advert for the coat collection in her newspaper on the way to work.

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Paula said: "I thought it was such a great idea that I contacted Hands On London's chief executive, Jon Meech, as soon as I got to work, and asked if we could help."

Paula enlisted the willing support of GTR's station and headquarters staff to create an enthused and energetic team.

She added: "We used leaflets and posters on Monday and Tuesday to ask passengers if they could donate a spare coat.

"In our first campaign we collected a magnificent 700 coats over three days, so to get 800 in only two hours this year is just incredible.

"We were overwhelmed by our passengers' kindness and can't thank them enough."

Wrap Up London is run every November by Whitechapel-based Hands On London, a charity that brings individual and corporate volunteers together with charities who need their support.

Last year's campaign was based mainly at large underground stations, and collected over 27,000 coats, which were distributed to charities supporting homeless people, elderly people and refugees.

Were you the kind chap who gave his coat? If so, email

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