Where To Volunteer In London At Christmas

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 11 months ago

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Where To Volunteer In London At Christmas

For many people in London, Christmas is no fun at all. This year, you could be the one to brighten up someone's day, or even year. Whether it's working at a soup kitchen, or rattling a bucket on a street corner, the smallest things really do have a huge effect on someone else's Christmas.

Packing off shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child.

Crisis at Christmas

Crisis undertakes the largest Christmas volunteering initiative in the country. It's looking for over 10,000 volunteers for a massive variety of roles. Use your skills to lead feelgood activities: massages, pilates classes or even dog sitting (no prior experience needed here, just a love of animals). There are also more traditional positions, such as their Night Owls, who help late into the night, ensuring everyone has a great Christmas experience.

Team London

Team London is the ultimate cheat sheet for volunteering in the city. They have hundreds of opportunities this Christmas; here are a couple that caught our eye:

  • World Child Cancer needs enthusiastic people for charity collections outside the Royal Albert Hall this Christmas. £10,000 was raised last year with just over 30 volunteers, and they're looking to top that incredible figure in 2016.
  • Volunteers are wanted for St John's Hospice Christmas Fayre. You'll have just as much fun as the families enjoying live entertainment and rides.
The team after collecting outside the Royal Albert Hall for World Child Cancer.

Operation Christmas Child

Not every child receives Christmas presents at home. This is where Operation Christmas Child comes in, delivering shoebox gifts to children all over the world. You can volunteer year-round but they especially need volunteers for Christmas.

St Martin-in-the-Fields

This is the 90th Christmas appeal from St Martin in the Fields. Supported by BBC Radio 4 listeners, the appeal can only survive through the hard work and endeavor of its volunteers. They need people to get stuck in and man the phones and process donations, among other things. Be one of them.

A volunteer spreading some musical joy with Crisis at Christmas.

Community Christmas

There's nothing worse than a lonely Christmas Day. That's where Community Christmas comes in, arranging events for the elderly to come together, and share a memorable day.

A volunteer carrying shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child

Rotary Club

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.

Royal Holloway University

Royal Holloway University has a mountain of opportunities, ranging from helping London's Air Ambulance, to volunteering at the Salvation Army's Christmas lunch. Some positions are only for students of the university but many are for everyone.

Revellers and volunteers together, celebrating at the Rotary Club Christmas party

Hackney Winter Night Shelter

Just like the proverbial dog, volunteering is not just for Christmas; and Hackney Winter Night Shelter knows this. It runs through the coldest season and needs volunteers for its shelter. You can come as infrequently as once a month — even this makes a huge difference.

Whitechapel Mission

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.

Want more ideas? Browse Time Bank and Do-It websites. Or, for further opportunities, take a look at the website for National charity Volunteering Matters.

Have we missed any volunteering opportunities from this list?  If so, let us know in the comments or email us at hello@londonist.com.

Last Updated 11 November 2016


The Simon Community is looking for early morning driver volunteers to help drive our tea run van Monday - Friday 06:30-08:30 where serve London street homeless. Can you help?‎ Is this you cup of tea?
We also have other Volunteer roles available see the website for more information.

Early morning Tea Runs go out on Monday to Friday 06:30-08:30 People can get some breakfast - a hot tea and coffee, sandwiches and pastries to start the day.
Volunteer Aplications

Dunk Gray
Simon Community Trustee

Forest Night Shelter

Waltham Forest Volunteering - Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelter open 1st November - 31st March
Volunteer with Forest Night Shelter 2016/2017
If you are able to give two hours to help us on one evening during the week then we would love to have your help. Can you cook a meal for 40 people? Are you an early riser – could you help prepare breakfast?
Please complete the application and send to the address below. Alternatively you can email the form to infoForest Night Shelter .org.uk
Volunteers will receive training and a handbook of our procedures. http://forestnightshelter.org....
We will have a FCENS Training Day 2016 on Saturday 16th October 9.30am - 3.30pm St. Mary's Church, Walthamstow
For all New and Old volunteers to learn about what we do the issues involved and meet local providers.