Where to volunteer in London during Christmas

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Providing people in need with support and care is important throughout the year, not just during the festive period. 

However, Christmas is that special time of year, where you spend time and relax with family. At least it should be. Many, like who is sleeping rough on the streets, don’t have the same luxury. But we can all do something to help. Here are just some of the places one can volunteer during Christmas in London. 

Crisis at Christmas

Crisis at Christmas volunteering

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The largest volunteering movement across the nation every Christmas takes place in Crisis’s day centres and rough sleeper centres. Crisis at Christmas has plenty of ways you can help make someone else’s yuletide season that extra bit special. There are volunteer roles for doctors, performers, cooks, good listeners, and much more. Applications always open.

Team London Christmas volunteering

Team London is the ultimate search tool for volunteering opportunities, perfect if Google lets you down. These aren’t fundamentally Christmas related — the service operates all-year-round — but type the keyword ‘Christmas’ into the search engine if you want your volunteering to be festive flavoured.

Some of the things that caught my eye: Christmas bucket collections, volunteering at a Christmas concert, or assisting at a fundraising Christmas Fayre.

Time Bank and Do-It are also great places to look for volunteering chances. They’re national databases, but you can explore by area (often the same events appear on all three websites).

Volunteer with The London Basket Brigade

This charity idea came about to put bread on the tables of families in need on Christmas Day. One thousand two hundred fifty baskets are delivered on 23 December, and volunteers are required to put the boxes together and deliver them. Find out about the Christmas 2019 delivery (on Monday 23 December) volunteering opportunities here. Volunteers are also required in the run-up to 23 December to collect last-minute donations.

Shelter From The Storm

This homeless shelter in Islington runs all year round and is free for those who require it. As with all shelters, demand is much higher in the winter, and volunteers are needed for shifts. Duties include cleaning, cooking, serving food and chatting to guests. here.

Hackney Winter Night Shelter volunteers

Open from November to March each year, Hackney Winter Night Shelter gives a bed for the night and a hot meal for people who would differently be on the streets, and it requires people during its season. Tasks involve cooking and serving meals, doing laundry, getting to know the people staying there, and staying overnight to make sure everything goes smoothly. Find out more and volunteer.

Volunteer at London winter night shelters

Apart from the shelters above, lots of others run in London and are equally worthy of help. Sleeping rough on the streets of London in winter is a terrible experience, and shelters try to alleviate these issues and offer people with a warm place for the night.

There are many winter night shelters over London — why not reach the one closest to you and find out if it needs volunteers.

Rotary Club Christmas Day volunteering

Rotary Club operates a massive Christmas Day lunch and tea party, for over-65s in Wandsworth. The wild (we assume) ‘party’ takes place in Battersea Park. Around 450 older people who would differently alone take part every year.

Volunteers are needed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. You can do just one, two, or all three dates. Jobs involve preparing the venue, assisting with transport for the guests, serving food and cleaning up afterwards.

Volunteer at the Whitechapel Mission

The Whitechapel Mission receives as many as 300 guests a day throughout December, and it requires a willing group of volunteers to cater for all these guests. You’ll be providing not only hot food but a touch of warmth in the lives of those less lucky — indeed in the spirit of the Christmas holiday. They require extra help at Christmas to help sort the donations received.

The Whitechapel Mission

Salvation Army Christmas volunteering

Salvation Army churches are busy at Christmas, running the annual Christmas Present Appeal as well as having night shelters. You may be required to sort donated toys and gifts, serve meals or help out in other ways at night shelters. Contact your nearest Salvation. Here to find out more.

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Charity collections

Plenty of charities hold collections in the run-up to Christmas when the general public is high on goodwill. Keep an eye on your preferred charity for ideas to become involved.