Now that the MN appeal is done and dusted (thanks to all the lovely MNers who nominated and donated, and to the machine that is RebeccaMumsnet), MNHQ is teaming up with Crisis at Christmas for the next couple of weeks to raise awareness of homelessness and (hopefully) encourage some of you to volunteer at a centre or make donations.
Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people. This Christmas they need 8,000 volunteers to help run Crisis At Christmas and are urgently seeking your help.
From 23-30 December more than 2,500 homeless and vulnerably housed guests will visit Crisis's nine centres across London which offer companionship, hot meals and warmth, plus over 20 essential services.
Many of their guests find it difficult to access health services throughout the year, so they aim to provide all the essential healthcare services during Crisis At Christmas. They still need volunteers for optician and podiatry services to make sure that they can open them across the week. They also offer haircuts and massages, and these services still urgently need volunteers. If you have relevant skills, please sign up to volunteer. If you can't spare the time but can spare the cash, please
And please spread the word, as there is a role for everyone.
Of course there are many other homeless charities out there, in other regions of England and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; we've chosen to concentrate on Crisis, but if you know of a good charity that is local to you, feel free to give 'em a festive namecheck on here.
A big Merry Christmas and a Mary Whitehouse New Year from all at Mumsnet Campaigns.
I'm not here but wanted to say this is a great thing to get involved with.
I would definitely volunteer if I was in near to a Crisis centre toavoidthefamily and I did this when I was in my twenties and living in London. It was great toavoidtheparents and you really don't need any experience of all that fancy stuff like podiatry and you will be just welcomed and thrown in at the deep end and you will just get on with it and have an amazing time. It looks really good on your CV and will give you good first-hand experience of homeless issues and mental health issues - after working there, I went into working in the mental health field and it really inspired me.
Also, there is usually about 40 gallons of M&S Brandy Butter with 12 hours sell-by left on it, of which you can eat as much as you like.
AND all your friends and family will say "Oh wow, that's so amazing" whereas you are actually just avoiding all of them. Everybody wins!
maltesers - the best thing to do is have a look at the website and explore the various volunteering opportunities/ shifts available. We ask that volunteers do a minimum of two shifts but otherwise you are free to pick and choose shifts from those available.
Our centres are all located in London but many volunteers come from different parts of the UK and we can help identify reasonably priced or discounted accomodation near our centres for our volunteers.
I hope that helps. On behalf of the Crisis At Christmas team thank you all for your support!
I work for a homelessness charity sohave first hand experience of this all year round. However, I must say that I spent Christmas day working there last year for the first time and I can honestly say it was one of the best christmas days I have ever had. We have a full xmas dinner and give all of the clients a gift - nothing much, something useful - warm clothes or sensible toiletries, usually, which are donated by people - we are always inundated with volunteers (but that's cos it's a reasonably small city) and they too have a fantastic time - it brings home to you what life is actually like every day of the year for some people.