How you can support those in need at Christmas

Christmas… a time for filling stockings and munching on mince pies! But it’s also the season of giving, and can be a difficult time for many people, including those who depend on charities and good causes to get through it. So, if you’d like to support those in need this Christmas, here are a few ideas to give you some inspiration to make a difference.

Donate to a food bank

Christmas may be a time for treats and slap-up dinners but, especially during the current economic climate, many people cannot afford to buy food and need to access emergency supplies. By donating food or funds to your local food bank or a national food bank charity, like The Trussell Trust, you can help fill this gap and support people in need this Christmas.

Help out at your local food bank

Food banks do an incredible job providing food for people as well as raising awareness of poverty and helping end UK hunger, but they often rely on the volunteers who generously give their time to help get food to the people who need it. Volunteers are needed to pack and distribute food, as well as collect and sort surplus food donations. You can even volunteer on Christmas Day and help make the 25th special for someone in need.

Support an animal charity

It’s not just people who need support at Christmas. Many animals are suffering due to homelessness, illness, and abuse. Animal charities often form the best line of defence for them, taking them in and providing food and shelter, as well as advocating for increased protections for animals in legislation and policy, and raising awareness of the pain animals endure. Donating or volunteering at an animal charity, like the RSPCA, is a great way to help, and if you’re getting a new pet, think about the decision carefully and consider getting it from a shelter.

Check-in on an elderly person

Many elderly people live alone, without family or friends nearby, and loneliness is common, especially at Christmas – a time associated with opening presents under the tree and pulling crackers with loved ones. Offering your help, for example by taking them to the shops, inviting them for a (gentle) walk, or helping with jobs (as long as you have a pre-existing relationship with them) could make a huge difference. You could also donate to an elderly charity.

Support your community through conservation volunteering

Volunteering with a charity such as your local conservation group or Wildlife Trust is a great way to support your entire community and help wildlife and wild spaces thrive, which benefits everyone. You’ll also be able to gain skills and make new friends. There are lots of ways to get involved and you’ll be welcomed regardless of your experience, ability, or availability.

Support refugees

Refugees face many challenges as they make their lives in the UK, and these challenges don’t go on hold at Christmas. The good news is, there are lots of ways that you can offer support, by giving your time through volunteering at a charity such as British Red Cross or Refugee Resource. It’s a great way to help make Christmas a warm, welcoming time for people who are escaping traumatic situations and making the UK their home.

Help a homeless person

For many of us, Christmas is a time for cosy days in with family, but imagine being homeless at Christmas. Rather than worrying about what gifts to buy loved ones, they’re often simply trying to stay warm. So, if you’d like to help someone in need this festive season, you could consider buying a homeless person a sandwich and a hot drink, an item of warm clothing, or donating to a homelessness charity like Sheter.

Do your Christmas shopping with easyfundraising

Probably the easiest way to support those in need at this time of year is by doing your Christmas shopping with easyfundraising – it’s quick and doesn’t cost you anything! All you need to do is sign up and make sure you go to easyfundraising before you start your online shopping. Sign up now and turn your everyday shopping into good-cause donations!