Easy Ways To Volunteer This Christmas

Easy Ways To Volunteer This Christmas

The joys of Christmas can sweep up all of us, whether it be buying gifts for friends and family, prepping a delicious lunch for the big day or hunkering down indoors as the temperature outside plummets. But don’t forget that many people – lots of them in our very own communities – face a much more difficult festive season, blighted by loneliness, low incomes and sometimes a lack of basic necessities. Here are seven worthy causes to get involved in – not just at Christmas but all year round…
01

Give Children A Healthy Breakfast

Magic Breakfast works with almost 500 primary, secondary and special-education schools to ensure thousands of children start their school day in the best possible way – with a healthy, filling breakfast. It’s shocking to think that nearly 1.8m schoolchildren go hungry first thing in the morning, putting their capacity to learn and ability to engage with teachers and classmates at serious risk. For just 30p, Magic Breakfast can provide a child with a healthy meal in the morning, as well as additional support throughout the school day.

Visit Magic Breakfast

02

Support Older Members Of The Community

One of Britain’s best-known charities, Age UK is full of suggestions when it comes to engaging with elderly members of the community – it might be visiting the local care home or setting up a once-a-week phone call with older relatives and friends. Take it one step further by watching this instructive video about becoming a digital buddy to an elderly person. You can ensure they make the most of modern technology, while still navigating the web at their own pace. Age UK’s Big Knit campaign runs throughout the year and sees volunteers knit the tiny hats that sit on top of Innocent smoothies. The scheme raises 25p for Age UK every time a bottle is sold.

Visit Age UK

03

Help Tackle Loneliness

Shelter and other homelessness charities are always on the hunt for volunteers over the festive period to make hot drinks, cook meals, and provide bedding and warm jackets. According to the latest research, these acts of kindness not only reduce feelings of loneliness but enhance self-esteem. Marmalade Trust runs a loneliness awareness week every June, and partners with more than 300 organisations around the UK to help reduce the stigma.

Visit Shelter
Visit Marmalade Trust

04

Donate Personal Care Goods 

Ever think what it would be like to go without soap, shampoo or, god forbid, sanitary products? That’s the bleak reality facing many people up and down the UK on a daily basis. Whether it’s Beauty Banks, Refuge Women’s Shelters or just a local drop-off point in your local supermarket, there are plenty of schemes for you to donate a host of personal care items.

Visit Beauty Banks
Find out more about Refuge Women’s Shelters

05

Buy A Child A Christmas Present

Until mid-December, Salvation Army churches and centres across the UK will be running a Christmas Present Appeal. Simply find your nearest appeal and donate new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children who might not otherwise receive a Christmas present. The gifts are then wrapped and distributed to those in need.

Read more about the Salvation Army Christmas Present Appeal

06

Tutor A Disadvantaged Student

If your A-levels or Bachelor’s degree feel irrelevant to your current job it might come in handy when it comes to tutoring a bright but disadvantaged student also wanting to do well in school. Every year, the Access Project matches volunteers to thousands of 14 to 18-year-olds looking for a little bit of support and mentoring to help them reach their goals. All you need is a degree in a relevant subject to tutor an A level student, or an A level to tutor GCSE students.

Visit The Access Project here

07

Take The Time To Listen  

Whether it’s through the Samaritans, Childline or Dame Esther Rantzen’s The Silver Line, taking time out to listen to other people’s hardships can make a world of difference. All these charities need different kinds of volunteers: whether it be replying to emails, answering phones or simply offering administrative support, there’s bound to be something you can do to help. Some organisations require as little as four hours a week, making them a good match for those balancing full-time work.

Learn more about the Samaritans, Childline and The Silver Line

 

If none of these opportunities feel right for you, try visiting your local council website or Team London to find out more about immediate volunteer positions in your community.

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