ROUGH sleepers will be able to slip on a warm and waterproof pair of shoes this winter.

A shoe shop that has been a prominent part of Swindon's high street for almost a hundred years is running a new campaign encouraging people to recycle old but still wearable footwear to be given to the homeless.

Blaylocks in Old Town launched the scheme at the suggestion of a customer.

Manager Mark Blaylock said: “It’s our first time doing something like this for the town, we just felt that we are an established Old Town business and we just want to give back to the community.

"We’ve always taken old shoes in but now we want to generate some goodwill in the Swindon area.”

He said: “We are getting into winter now and it’s a lot colder. It’s so important to help the homeless because they get forgotten about until Christmas is coming up.

“At this time of year people go round with food and blankets. I know us doing this has fallen at Christmas time but it should be done all year round because they’re out there all year.

“It would just be nice to give them hope and we will see how it goes and then we might carry it on.”

For more than a decade the shop has been sending donated shoes to poorer countries with the help of the Hydrotherapy Pool in Upper Stratton.

Now shoes handed over as part of the shop's winter amnesty will be shared between the two good causes.

Mark, who is the fourth generation Blaylock to run the shop since it opened in 1920, has been working alongside his dad David in the family-run business since he was 14.

He said: “People can donate any shoes that are still wearable and we will just give them a clean or a polish and maybe add shoelaces if they’re needed.

“We are only taking men’s and women’s shoes and then we will donate them to shelters across Swindon or they can come in and ask for some.”

Shoes can be donated in store at Blaylocks on Bath Road during opening hours.