Christmas is the busiest time of year for volunteering, so we highly recommend doing what you can throughout the whole year; however we’ve listed a few accessible volunteer ideas for you for you to try out and help out with this Christmas ☺️
Crisis at Christmas
Crisis is a national charity for single homeless people. Dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change, they are looking for over 11,000 volunteers this year to help them do this and bring some Christmas cheer to homeless lives. You can choose your volunteer role based on your knowledge and skills, but this year they are looking in particular for NightOwls to help overnight in the residential centres. Crisis at Christmas runs from 23rd-30th December, but if you’re not available on any of these dates, they will also need help before and after, setting and cleaning up. Alternatively, donate towards a Christmas dinner and make someone’s year.
No elderly person should be on their own this Christmas. Community Christmas began in 2007 when Caroline Billington was asked to drive a group of old ladies to lunch on Christmas Day. Taken aback by the profound effect that this (in her eyes) typical Christmas had had upon the ladies, she decided to share her experiences and help establish more events, out of which Community Christmas was born. Their website includes free listing in order to help spread the word, so if you, or someone you know, can offer companionship to an elderly person, they’d love to hear from you! Local volunteers are key to ensuring that the needs of the older people in their community are met on Christmas Day, so visit their locations page to see what’s happening in your area.
Operation Christmas Child
You can volunteer at the warehouses and processing centres across the capital. With their seasonal volunteer interest form, getting involved is easy, however Operations Christmas Child also needs volunteers all year round to promote it, and to encourage more and more people to get involved. A small shoebox can have a huge impact, so become a part of it and spread some joy all over the world this Christmas.
Volunteering Matters, City of London Project
The City of London is a hub of business, culture, history, finance, green spaces and people, yet some living within the City can still experience isolation. The City of London Volunteering Service provides a number of key volunteering projects which make a real difference to the lives of elderly and vulnerable people living in London’s square mile. The programme recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide various services such as befriending older and isolated residents in the City of London, doing grocery shopping for residents who struggle with mobility and providing companionship to residents experiencing early onset dementia. Of course, this takes places all year round, but everyone deserves someone at Christmas, so why not get in touch (020 3780 5906/5904) and really make a difference.
Volunteer with The London Basket Brigade
This charity idea came about to put food on the tables of families in need on Christmas Day. 1,250 baskets are delivered on 23 December, and volunteers are needed to put the baskets together, and to drive and deliver them. For obvious reasons, the scheme didn’t run in 2020 — keep an eye on the website for how you can get involved at Christmas 2021.
Write For Rights, Amnesty International
Write a letter and change a life. This December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters for people whose fundamental human rights are being attacked. Write for Rights is one of the world’s biggest human rights events and carries on a long tradition of people writing letters to right some of the world’s biggest wrongs. And it’s not just letters – it could be petitions, emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, postcards… Whatever you think will have the biggest impact, and help bring about change. Find the beginner’s guide to Write for Rights here, or find a Write for Rights event near you here. Use your freedom of expression to stand up for the freedom of others!
Team London is the ultimate search tool for volunteering opportunities. These aren’t necessarily Christmas related — the service runs all year-round — but type the keyword ‘Christmas’ into the search engine if you want your volunteering to be festive flavoured. You can also search by other interests, for example, if you want to volunteer with the elderly, or help the homeless.
Festive volunteering roles in previous years have included Christmas bucket collections, and volunteering at charity Christmas concerts and fundraising fairs — keep checking back for Christmas 2021 roles.