Volunteering for Christmas and community organisations
With the festive period an onslaught of adverts that begins when autumn is barely underway, it's easy to forget that Christmas is about more than just spending money and eating to excess.
During the 'season of giving', why not give some of your time to those who are struggling or alone? Alternatively, make a change in the New Year and get involved in your local community. We've chosen 10 fantastic community organisations for starters, and below these are links to more suggestions in your local area.
Food is a wonderful focus at Christmas, but some of our community either won't have a roof over their heads or they will be in the midst of a crisis and Christmas will be far from their minds. Local organisations like the St Petroc's Society and the Redruth Food Bank will support these people this Christmas. They organise food collections for families in financial crisis and also encourage people to invite a neighbour who may be lonely for a meal.
The Trussell Trust, Haverhill - Suffolk
The Trussell Trust foodbank network works in partnership with local churches and organisations to bring foodbanks to communities across the UK. There are now over 275 foodbanks in the network. Haverhill food bank also runs a rural delivery service, which takes emergency foodboxes to people living in rural areas who cannot afford to get to a foodbank.
Home-Start, Glasgow South - Glasgow
Mums, dads or carers with a child under eight who are finding things tough at the moment can ask Home-Start for help, whatever the problem. They support families through their Home-Start volunteers. These are people who are parents themselves or have parenting experience.
The Wimbledon Guild sits at the heart of the Merton community. It provides older people and young families in need with a wide range of services at little or no cost. Its three core aims have heightened meaning at this festive time of the year: tackling poverty, encouraging mental well-being and supporting ageing. In the current climate, the need has never been greater.
Little Bundles, Cambridge - Cambridge
Little Bundles aims to meet the needs of those finding themselves in difficult circumstances when they are expecting or caring for a baby. Providing essential items such as cots, prams, highchairs and baby clothes, this oganisation helps mums who find themselves having a baby in a crisis such as homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, or in financial hardship. There are also lots of families who would love to find a good home for their recycled baby gear; Little Bundles makes this possible.
Beanstalk, Citywide - Manchester
Beanstalk is a national charity that recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading. Like the beanstalk in the classic fairy story, Beanstalk is magical. This magic comes from combining a child who is struggling to learn to read with someone who is passionate about reading and has time they can share. They are looking for volunteers across Greater Manchester.
Voluntary Action, countywide - Leceistershire
Voluntary Action Leicestershire is a one-stop-shop for all those wishing to volunteer in the county. With hundreds of volunteering opportunities in all areas, it's the perfect way to improve your own skills while helping your community. This year they are looking for people to help out with their Christmas lunch.
Donnington Doorstep, Abingdon - Oxford
Based in East Oxford, Donnington Doorstep provides a safe, welcoming, home-from-home environment where children, young people, parents and carers can come freely, play, make friends and get support in an informal way. Doorstep aims to increase happiness and physical, mental and emotional well-being, as well as improving life chances for socially excluded children and young people.
Cats in Crisis, Thanet - Kent
Cats in Crisis Thanet is an entirely voluntary rescue and rehoming charity, that pays particular attention to elderly and stray cats. They usually have more than 150 cats and a few dogs and rabbits in their care at any one time, which are looked after by volunteers in their own homes.
Eaves, Oval - Lambeth
Eaves' mission is to expose and address violence against women and girls in the UK. Eaves has specialisms in the areas of trafficking, prostitution exiting and sexual violence. Eaves also offers housing and employment services. Within each area of work Eaves provides frontline support and advocacy as well as undertaking lobbying and campaigning.
Find more community organisations on your local site in…
- Devon: Exeter
- Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly
- Essex: Chelmsford
- Greater Manchester: Manchester & Trafford
- Greater Manchester: Stockport & Tameside
- Greater Manchester: Wigan & Salford
- Hampshire: Southampton