As much as we love all the festive fun and foodie delights, Christmas is a time for giving – especially as the cold winter months can make life even harder for vulnerable people. From the best ways to donate your old coats, to the pop-up shops making a difference, here are eight ways you can help those in need this November and December…
1. Donate Your Old Coat To Wrap Up London
Wrap Up London is back for the 7th year running, collecting the city’s unwanted coats and giving them to charities that support the homeless, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence (to name a few). Donate yours at one of six major London stations from 13th November to 15th November, or multiple Safestore storage locations from 13th November to 24th November.
Visit WrapUpLondon.org.uk to find your nearest participating station or Safestore location
2. Rent Your Party Look At Style Trial
Westfield London has teamed up with Save The Children to launch Style Trial, the UK’s first ever standalone outfit rental pop-up. There will be 100 high fashion pieces available to rent out for party season, from designers including Stella McCartney, Mary Katranzou, Sophia Webster, Reformation, Shrimps, Christopher Kane, Mulberry and Alice Temperley – with all proceeds going towards Save The Children.
Style Trial will open from 24th November to 10th December at Westfield London
3. Reserve A Place At Crisis
For just £26.08 you can reserve a place for a homeless person at Crisis this Christmas. Crisis centres in London, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Coventry will serve hot, delicious, nutritious Christmas dinners to over 4,700 homeless people over nine days, as well as providing healthcare and dental services, haircuts, advice on housing and finances, learning and skills opportunities, year-round support and safe accommodation for those in need.
Visit Crisis.org.uk to reserve a place today
4. Help Refugees At Choose Love
Opening in Soho later this month, Choose Love is the world’s first shop where you can buy real and necessary products for refugees – from emergency blankets to school bags and medical equipment. With all funds raised going directly to UK charity Help Refugees, supporting their vital work across Europe and the Middle East, this is Christmas shopping with a difference.
Choose Love will open from 24th November to 31st at 18 Broadwick Street, London W1F 8HS
5. Get Involved This Christmas Jumper Day
Every December, Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day sees everyone from office workers to school kids across the country don their best festive knitwear to raise money for charity. This year it’s being held on the 15th December, so there’s still plenty of time to plan your outfit and get your co-workers, friends and family involved. If you wouldn’t go as far as a Primark version complete with giant 3D snowman, remember glittery and embellished styles totally count as Christmassy too.
Visit ChristmasJumperDay.org to sign up now
6. Volunteer At Community Christmas
Community Christmas believes no elderly person in the UK should be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be. Every Christmas Day, they help communities hold Christmas lunch events for older people – from hosting group dinners with all the trimmings, to encouraging neighbours to pop round for a cup of tea. Whether you want to volunteer at an event near you, or even organise your own, there are plenty of ways to make a difference.
Visit CommunityChristmas.org.uk for more information
7. Swap Your Old Coat At J Crew
Want to give back and get a discount at one of our go-to stores? This winter, J Crew has teamed up with charity Hands On London to provide even more warm coats to those who need them most. Throughout the whole of December, customers can donate a gently worn piece of outerwear to their local J Crew store and get £25 OFF any purchase of £125 or more.
Visit JCrew.com to find your nearest J Crew store
8. Give Blood With The NHS
According to the NHS, blood is the best gift you could give this Christmas. It’s always a challenge for hospitals to collect enough blood to meet patients’ needs over the festive period, so now is as good a time as any to donate – especially if you’re O-negative, as it’s desperately needed.
Visit My.Blood.co.uk to find your nearest blood donor centre and book an appointment