Christmas is a magical time of year, where you kick back and relax with your family. At least it should be. Not everyone can enjoy that luxury. But you can help. Here are just some of the places you can volunteer at Christmas in London.
Crisis at Christmas
The biggest volunteering operation across the nation every Christmas. Crisis at Christmas has an abundance of varied ways everyone can help make someone else's yuletide season that extra bit special. They need doctors, musicians, cooks, good listeners, and so much more. You definitely have a set of skills they can use for good.
Team London is the ultimate search tool for volunteering opportunities, ideal when Google lets you down. These aren't necessarily Christmas related — the service runs all year-round — but type the keyword 'Christmas' into the search engine, if you need you're volunteering to be festive flavoured.
St Martin-in-the-Fields — AKA Trafalgar Square's church with the warped window — in association with BBC Radio 4 are onto their whopping 91st annual Christmas appeal. They need volunteers to help them process donations from the willing public.
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.
Rotary Club are holding a massive Christmas day party, for over-65s living in Wandsworth. The wild shindig (we presume), takes place 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.
Winter night shelters
Sleeping rough on the streets of London in winter is a horrible experience, and more people will suffer this winter as the city struggles through a homelessness epidemic. There's a selection of winter night shelters all over London to try and alleviate these issues, and give people a warm place to sleep for the night.
Here's a list [pdf] of winter night shelters across London many of whom need volunteers.
The Whitechapel Mission receives as many as 300 visitors a day during December, and it needs a willing 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.
Like so many other excellent charities out there, SCT offer opportunities to volunteer all year round. However, Christmas is a time as any to start, find out how you can help Londoners suffering from addiction and homelessness, here.
Know any more places to volunteer over the Christmas season. Let us know down in the comments or email firstname.lastname@example.org.