Date Published 04 December 2023
Christmas is widely regarded as the season of giving and spending time with loved ones and whilst we are revelling in the festivities in the lead up to Christmas it's easy to get wrapped up in our own plans. Spare a thought for those who are sleeping rough on the streets and those struggling with poverty at this time of year. Lending a helping hand to someone in need can have an especially huge impact. No one should have to wake up without a home, a hot meal or a simple gift on Christmas Day.
Here are some ways that to make a positive difference and some links to just a few of organisations & charities that are doing great work.
1. DONATE MONEY
Every pound & penny counts to help those in need.
Jacksons Lane Highgate https://donate.biggive.org/campaign/a056900002RXs1KAAT?dm_t=0,0,0,0,0
Jacksons Lane throws open its doors on Christmas Day to support 300 vulnerable older adults and families with food, presents, entertainment and connection.
Salvation Army - https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/?form=FUNQWEVHXSM
Crisis - https://www.crisis.org.uk/
Shelter - https://england.shelter.org.uk/
This Christmas morning nearly 139,000 children will wake up without a place to call home. The highest number on record. Help by donating money, unwanted items to Shelter Shops, Volunteering or organising and taking parts in fundraising events.
2. DONATE FOOD & CLOTHES
With the New Year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to go through your wardrobe and clear out anything that you no longer want. Furthermore, get creative with your donations by putting together a bundle or basket of sorts. Foodbanks are also in constant need donations of food for those struggling to put food on the table.
Streets Kitchen - https://www.streetskitchen.org/
Streets Kitchen is a UK and Ireland grassroots group working to help the homeless community, providing daily outreaches with food, clothing and information that benefits our streets.
Basket Brigade UK - https://www.basketbrigade.org.uk/about/
Basket Brigade UK is a loving, charitable organisation who deliver baskets of food (and love) on December 23rd every year to those who could really do with a helping hand at this time of year.
House of Opportunity - https://houseofopportunity.org/what-we-do/christmas-box-appeal/
A Christmas box is a unique present put together by you, and donated via House of Opportunity and its partners to a marginalised child, woman or man living in poverty in Southeast Europe.
Food Cycle - https://foodcycle.org.uk/find-a-meal/
The Trussell Trust - https://www.trusselltrust.org/
Give Food - https://www.givefood.org.uk/
3. HELP THE HOMELESS OBTAIN BASIC WINTER NECESSITIES
Many of us may currently be focused on Christmas shopping for family & friends, but spare a thought for those who are lacking basic items that can provide them with warmth in the cold weather, such socks, hats and blankets.
Unhoused - https://www.unhoused.org/
The World's First Online Shop for Homelessness Unhoused.org launched what they describe as the "UK's first online shop for homeless supplies". For every item of winter clothing that is bought from the website, the company donates another to someone who does not have a home.
4. CONTACT LOCAL SERVICES
If you're concerned about someone who you've seen sleeping on the streets of England or Wales, then you can make the local authorities or outreach services aware of their whereabouts by using the Streetlink app or visiting the website. You'll be asked to provide the specific location of the individual, the time at which you saw them at that location and details about their appearance. https://thestreetlink.org.uk/
5. STOP FOR A CHAT
Taking a moment out of your day to introduce yourself to a homeless person and stop for a friendly chat can make an immeasurable difference. Homelessness puts an enormous strain on mental health with long hours of loneliness, isolation and sleep deprivation.
Give a little time if you can and volunteer with organisations that support the homeless at Christmas. If you'd like to find your nearest local homeless shelter and enquire about volunteering there, you can do so by entering your postcode here :
Shelter From The Storm - https://sfts.org.uk/
A free homeless shelter in Islington, is in constant need of volunteers to do shifts in the morning, evening and overnight.
Whitechapel Mission - https://whitechapel.org.uk/
The Whitechapel Mission, we have been helping Londoners to help people who are rough sleeping since 1876, meeting the specific needs of each man and woman who walks through our doors.