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Celebrate the festive season by giving your time
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, people are often keen to volunteer at this time of year. Here are some great ways of giving back.
Giving time at the British Heart Foundation
The British Heart Foundation is looking for volunteers to help out at their shops in Kingston over the Christmas period as many of their regular volunteers are on holiday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Image: Asma volunteering at the British Heart Foundation shop in Kingston for Christmas
Support Oxfam Christmas with your time
Christmas is a very busy time for Oxfam shops with just a short window of opportunity to capitalise on people searching for perfect sustainable presents. The money raised funds Oxfam’s emergency and development work all over the world, for example providing clean water and sanitation to camps for displaced people.
The role will mainly incorporate:
* Offering great customer service
* Managing transactions through the till
* Receiving donations
* Keeping the shop floor looking beautiful
* Ensuring stock levels are maintained
No previous experience is required but enthusiasm and cheerful nature are essential.
Welcoming new arrivals
The Refugee Council are asking for people to write letters of welcome to families arriving from Afghanistan. Write your message of hope.
Raising money and awareness
If there is a cause that is particularly important to you, this season is a great way of raising money and awareness as people want to get together and think about others.
* Hold a Christmas film viewing party – charge people to vote for their favourite film
* A Christmassy coffee morning to raise money for a cause
* Toy donation drive
* Fundraising walk or fun run
If you are collecting items to be donated, make sure that you check with the charities beforehand whether they have the capacity and space to receive the items and what they need. Generally, money, gift cards or brand new items are preferred.
Jewish people come together on 21st November this year for Mitzvah Day, the largest faith-led day of social action. Find out more here.
Involving your family in volunteering
If you want your children to be thinking of something other than what Father Christmas
* Contact your local residential service for older people and ask if they are interested in receiving letters/cards/drawings
* Get involved in some wintery micro-volunteering! Have a look at some activities here from The Conservation Volunteers
* Donating toys and books to charity shops
* Litter picking
Contact local groups and churches
Bigger charities that hold specific Christmas events (e.g. for people experiencing homelessness) will normally have their volunteering needs organised months in advance. However, smaller groups and churches may welcome an eager volunteer. So contact your local older people’s group, put a post in the communities’ WhatsApp group or pop down to your local church and find out how you can get involved.
Help Princess Alice Hospice raise vital funds as a Santa Fun Run volunteer
Support the Santas with your festive good cheer as they run around Bushy Park on 5th and 12th December or spread the word about the event. Find out more here.
Volunteering for your health and wellbeing
With lots of parties, treats and long movie marathons Christmas is not always the healthiest time of year. Volunteering is great for your mental health and you can also volunteer in ways that improve your fitness.
Join people from over the country to create a National Walking Network as part of SlowWays. Go for a walk in your local area and record it on the website.
Get involved with GoodGym and get fit while helping out with activities to support local charities.
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