Christmas Volunteering in Hackney and Beyond 2018
Want to give something back this Christmas? There are many ways to volunteer in the run up to Christmas and on the day itself, from helping out at Santa Dashes, making Xmas cards for isolated people, helping out at Xmas Dinners and lunches or if you are time-short you can donate hamper items and presents to lots of worthwhile causes. Check out our list below.
HACKNEY WINTER NIGHT SHELTER
Hackney Winter Night Shelter provides a hot meal and a warm bed for homeless guests who would otherwise be out on the streets during the coldest winter months. It is run by more than 750 volunteers at venues around Hackney and they are looking for volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to help out at their shelters, including tasks like preparing the venue, cooking, serving food, and talking to guests. Find out more here or contact them here.
HACKNEY XMAS DINNERS FOR CARE LEAVERS
An opportunity to volunteer or donate presents for a Christmas dinner for Hackney care leavers. They are looking for volunteers to help set-up on Christmas Eve or help out at the dinner on Christmas Day. Or you can donate a present! Click here to find out more.
FRIENDS OF WOODBERRY DOWN
Volunteers are needed to help out at two Christmas dinners on Friday 14th December and on Tuesday 18th December. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org
V22 CHILDREN’S PLAY STREET
Join V22 Early Years as a Volunteer Steward for V22’s winter play street on Saturday 1st December. You will be helping towards ensuring a smooth running of the day. Even an hour’s availability will be appreciated. Find out more here.
Homerton Hope is a charity providing vital support and funds to the Homerton Hospital to help them pay for additional equipment, research and innovations, as well as finishing touches and ‘extras’ that complement the quality care for patients at the Hospital. If you would like to be involved, make a donation or fundraise for them, contact them or visit their website to find out more.
HOST UK – VOLUNTEER HOSTS
Christmas is a time to be around family and friends, but hundreds of international students across the country are likely to spend the festivities alone on a closed-down university campus. HOST arranges for volunteer hosts to invite a student from Christmas Eve until 27th December, turning an otherwise lonely Christmas into one of celebration of warmth. Invite an international student to stay for a few days at Christmas or any other time of the year.
KITH AND KIDS – AUTISM PROJECT CHRISTMAS VOLUNTEER
Kith and Kids supports people of all abilities and ages to discover and develop their potential, building a community where everyone is welcome and valued for who they are. They are looking for volunteers to help out with creative activity workshops and outings to support the development of independent living skills in enjoyable ways. They also need volunteer minibus drivers for outings, cooks to help prepare lunch, support for participants to use computers and workshop leaders/assistants. Find out more here.
STROKE PROJECT – TRIANGLE SERVICES
On Monday 3rd December 2018, The Stroke Project will be hosting their annual winter/ Christmas party for over 50 stroke survivors and their families/ friends. They need volunteers to help make the day enjoyable for all and to help with setting up, preparing and decorating, through to supporting on the day with serving tea/ coffee and food, and assisting in activities provided. They are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who can give up one day to help out. Apply here.
CHILDREN WITH VOICES – BELLS PROJECT VOLUNTEER
Children with Voices have successfully received funding from Tesco Bags of Help to run an Intergenerational project within Hackney, bringing together younger and older residents in the borough, through cooking and discussion. ‘Bells Project’ is an extra care scheme in Stoke Newington, for African Caribbean people over the age of 55 in need of housing with additional care and support, with a special emphasis on the tenants cultural needs. The project will be running on Thursday 27th, Friday 28th and Saturday 29th December. For more information, please contact email@example.com
HACKNEY CHRISTMAS DINNER – VOLUNTEER HOSTS
Hackney Christmas Dinner are looking for volunteers to help out with preparing food, decorating the venue, wrapping presents and generally helping to get into the festive spirit. Find out more and apply here.
FARESHARE – FOOD COLLECTION
FareShare are hosting their 10th annual food collection with Tesco – the UK’s largest food drive. They will be collecting long-life food from shoppers in Tesco stores UK-wide on Thursday 29 November, Friday 30 December and Saturday 1 December. If you can spare a few hours to help collect food on any of the days above, please sign up for a shift at a store near you. In just 3 hours, you could collect enough food for 600 meals! Find out more info and sign up here.
OPPORTUNITIES IN EAST LONDON
The Whitechapel Mission often receives as many as 300 visitors a day during the yuletide period, and it needs a determined group of volunteers to provide for all these guests. You’ll be providing not only warm food, but a touch of warmth in the lives of those less fortunate — truly in the spirit of the Christmas holiday. Find out more.
Marie Curie needs volunteers for its Christmas Collections – donning a yellow Christmas hat, a big smile and holding a bucket in a tube station. There are collections at Bethnal Green Tube Station (27th November), Whitechapel Tube Station (17th December) and Shoreditch High Street Tube Station (19th December) Sign up here.
CHRISTMAS OPPORTUNITIES ACROSS LONDON
CRISIS AT CHRISTMAS
Crisis at Christmas 2018 will be running from 23 to 30 December in 9 centres across London. The project is a lifeline for thousands of homeless people. They offer support, companionship, activities and vital services, during the holiday period and help people to take their first steps out of homelessness. To make this happen, they need more than 10,000 volunteers. You can sign up as a General, Logistics, Service or Activities and Entertainments volunteer. Sign up here.
SAMARA’S AID APPEAL
Samara’s Aid is a humanitarian relief charity that collects and distributes clothes, shoes, bedding, toiletries/hygiene items, essential medical equipment, ambulances and school equipment to war-torn places that other aid agencies may have missed or to people who cannot access help themselves. There are many ways to get involved from volunteering, to donating much needed items, to hosting a Syrian dinner. Find out more here.
LONDON NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORK DISPLAY
The London New Year’s Day Parade is looking for volunteers to join their team. There are two volunteer roles for this opportunity: Pre-Event Ticket Office Support – Saturday 29 to Monday 31 December 12:00 – 16:00 OR 16:00 – 20:00 / NYE Event Assistant – Monday 31 December 19:00 – 23:00. Find out more and apply here.
RNIB need volunteers for various activities across London. Do you enjoy singing Christmas songs? Are you a member of a choir? They need volunteers to share their voices and enthusiasm for their Christmas Choirs while helping to raise vital funds for blind and partially sighted people. They also need enthusiastic and friendly Christmas Collectors to help at collections at train stations and shopping centres alongside choir groups. Stations include Victoria, Waterloo, Cannon Street and Kings Cross.
The Yes Group London Basket Brigade offers Londoners the chance to make donations all year round and also the opportunity to come together on 23rd December and put those donations to good use, providing food hampers to families who struggle to put food on the table at Christmas. It’s a highlight of the year in hundreds of people’s calendar and we hope you’ll not only donate your money to help us feed more people, but also your time to help us deliver more baskets. See website to register to volunteer or donate items.
GREAT ORMOND STREET HOSPITAL – LONDON SANTA DASH
Need enthusiastic people to volunteer as Santa’s little helpers for various roles for their Famous Santa
Dash on Sunday 9th December, 10am – 2pm. The proceeds will benefit Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital to keep families, of children receiving treatment, together over the holidays. Volunteers will receive an event day t-shirt and meal during their shift. Contact to get involved.
SAVE THE CHILDREN – CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY!
Save the Children is looking for volunteer promoters to help them spread the word and get people signed up to their Christmas Jumper Day. On 14th December, they are calling on woolly-lovers to get together in their favourite festive knitwear and donate! Find out more!
ST JOHN’S HOSPICE – EVENT VOLUNTEERS
Help out at their popular annual Christmas Fayre on Sunday 2nd December in St John’s Wood. You can choose between three shifts – or all day if you like. This is a fab opportunity to volunteer with friends and loved ones. Find out more and apply here.
FOOD CHAIN – CHRISTMAS DAY VOLUNTEER DRIVERS
They are looking for volunteer drivers on Christmas day, as there is no public transport on that day, to pick up service users, drive them to the kitchen for dinner and then drop them off back at home at the end of the day. If you don’t have plans on Christmas Day, if you hold a valid driver’s license and if you like the idea of spending your day driving London’s roads at their quietest, then this opportunity is for you! All drivers would, of course, be more than welcome to join us for Christmas Dinner too. Apply here.
CARDS FOR GOOD – POP-UP SHOP VOLUNTEER
Card for Good run over 200 pop-up shops selling Christmas cards and related things to benefit hundreds of charities, national and local. Their shop in St Mary’s Church, Upper Street Islington is open Monday to Saturday, from early November until mid-December. Volunteers help with the running of the shop, organising the display, serving customers and refilling stock. If you have 1/2 day a week to spare for the next few weeks and would like to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
After last year’s massive success, Rotary Club is organising another Christmas party in Battersea Park. Volunteers are needed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day — you can do just one, two, or all three days. Jobs include preparing the venue, helping with transport for the guests, serving food and clearing up afterwards. Find out more and apply
Christian Aid are looking for ushering volunteers for their Carol Service on Thursday 6th December at Waterloo and for their Gospel Christmas Celebration on Saturday 15th December at Brixton. To apply email email@example.com
Salvation Army volunteers at Christmas can get involved with everything from sorting donated presents during our Christmas toy appeals to serving festive meals to people who might otherwise be alone and helping at our winter night shelters. Many centres start planning volunteer rotas as early as summer so Christmas volunteering opportunities get filled quickly; if you’re interested in volunteering please contact your local Salvation Army church or centre directly to register your interest. Find your local Salvation Army here.
If you’re unable to volunteer but still want to help, at Christmas there are many ways you can offer support . Regular or one-off donations help make a huge difference to vulnerable people in communities, or you could try our 10 fun and festive fundraising ideas together for you to try with friends, family or work colleagues.
We also have hundreds of charity shops across the UK that need support at Christmas as well as throughout the year – whether you can spare a few hours a week to volunteer, have any items you want to donate, or perhaps want to show your support by shopping with us, we value your contribution no matter how big or small.
Via OXFAM, you can buy someone a flock of chickens or a camel, or textbooks or dinners for a third world school. For these and many other life-changing or life-saving gifts, see www.oxfamunwrapped.com.
GOOD GIFTS is a means of getting suitable gifts to people who really need them, endorsed by a range of worthwhile charities. Buy a goat for Rwanda or a bicycle for a midwife in Cambodia, or help turn weapons of war into farm implements via www.goodgifts.org.
HAVEN’T GOT TIME?
DONATIONS NEEDED FOR TYSSEN CHILDREN’S CENTRE
Tyssen Children’s Centre are hosting a Parents’ Forum Christmas Party on Wednesday 5th December 2018 and they are looking for donations of refreshments, presents for parents and children under five or vouchers towards the event. Donations can be delivered/sent to the Children’s Centre at Oldhill Street, London, N16 6LR or email Ebele Omo-Bamawo at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and they will collect them.
HELP KEEP VULNERABLE PEOPLE WARM THIS WINTER.
Wrap Up London are collecting your old, unwanted coats and giving them to charities that support the homeless, refugees, children living in poverty and people fleeing domestic violence (to name a few). Donate from Monday 12 – Thursday 14 November. Find out more here.
BUY A FESTIVE PARCEL WITH REFUGE a parcel scheme targeted at women and children escaping domestic violence, including children’s parcels and emergency parcels to help people rebuild their lives.
STREET CHILD CAROL CONCERTS
Book your tickets for Street Child’s Christmas Carol Concerts; Tower of London on 4th of December; City of London on 5th December and Kensington on 13th December. For more details click here.