Christmas time is usually the happiest time of year for many of us. The time of year where we gather with our nearest and dearest, and celebrate with gift giving, Bucks Fizz drinking, and of course stuffing your face with Turkey and all the trimmings!
Whilst this is the usual antics of Christmas time for many of us, it pains me to say, but this may not be the case for everyone!
For the elderly, homeless and struggling individuals and families across the UK, it can be the hardest, and sometimes loneliness time of year.
Whilst I hate to be a Debbie Dampener or anyone’s spirit, it’s important for us lucky ones to realise what others may be going through, and support and help wherever we can!
There are soo many things you can do up and down the country this time of year, to spread a little festivity, and possibly change someone’s life for the better.
Here is a little list-io of odd bits and pieces, some very small in effort or cost, that can help change someone’s Christmas, and make it a special one for them!
Help in a soup kitchen | The UK have many soup kitchens who help the homeless and vulnerable day in day out. This time of year, they can be inundated with the homeless and need a extra hand. You can make a huge difference just by donating some goods, or time and helping out. Find your nearest soup kitchen on Facebook or in google.
Streets kitchen operate nationwide and are always looking for volunteers. Be sure to check them out to help in your local area!
Donate Food to a food bank | You know that curry sauce that you bought two jars of because they were on offer? Or that box of cereal you haven’t opened despite purchasing last month? Those could be helpful to someone who cannot even afford a food shop. You can donate food in many of your high-street supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsburys & Asda. Adding a couple of tins into your trolley this Christmas to donate will not break the bank, but help someone in need!
To find your local food share centre, click here.
Distribute supplies to the homeless | Up and down the country, small groups of individuals distribute supplies kindly donated by the public to those unfortunately living on the streets. Whilst we have many homeless shelters across the UK, we do not have enough to support our homeless community.
Help in your local community by either joining the distributors or donate goods to be distributed. With the cold weather, jumpers, wholly socks, hats and scarf’s are always a good starting block. Sleeping bags are even more valuable!!
Donate your time | Even though the month of December can be megaaa busy, we call can spare a little of our time to help in charity shops and alike to help the vulnerable this Christmas time. Donating your time has never been easier with websites like timebank who can search for your nearest volunteering opportunities for you!
Donate a gift | Donating a gift is one of the most popular ways to help and support those in need at such a festive time of the year. It’s one of the most warming ways to help too! There are many ways to donate a gift, with many shopping centres nationwide featuring it too. If you would like to donate a gift to a child this year, I’ve found many sites including The Salvation Army, Kid’s out giving tree, centre point and Macmillian, who offer virtual gifts!
Donate your old toys | Since your children will be getting plenty of new toys this Christmas, I am sure, why not make room for them and donate the unwanted to charity. Take to your nearest charity shop, or send to Great Ormond Street Hospital to keep the poorly children occupied. You can find all the requirements on their website just here.
Befriend a lonely Elder | Christmas can be very lonely when you have little to no family around you. AgeUk look to help the lonely with befriending services and as a telephone befriender . Telephone befriender enables you to have a 30-minute chat with older members of the public. It’s free and safe, as you are automatically connected with your telephone friend. That one call on Christmas day can make the world of difference.
Whether you will be donating money or time, anything you can do this Christmas time can make a huge difference to many people this Christmas time.