Election result not go quite as you'd hoped? Worried about how critical issues like climate change, homelessness and the NHS are going to be treated by this government? Here are 10 ways you can personally make a difference in London.
1. Make a donation using TAP London
It's frustrating when you want to give a little something to help the homeless, but don't have any shrapnel on you. But London now has over 100 TAP donation points positioned in retailers across the city. Take a second to tap your card and make a £3 donation, which goes to members of the London Homeless Collective. You can also donate online.
2. Give yourself for Christmas
Some London charities are still looking for volunteers over the festive season. And even if they're oversubscribed right now, come the new year, they'll be eager for your help.
3. Go see a local show
Eschew the West End this Christmas, for something less spendy and more wholesome. With arts funding in the state it is, plenty of smaller theatres need your cash to keep doing the amazing stuff they're doing. There are so many community-minded places out there — putting on great shows with important messages — which could use your support. We can highly recommend Hackney Empire, Oxford House in Bethnal Green, Battersea Arts Centre and the King's Head in Angel. But there are hundreds more. Have a Google and see what takes your fancy. Sorry, Cameron Mackintosh.
4. Use London's new water fountains
Loads more water fountains were installed in London in 2019, in a bid to combat single use plastic bottles. Soon there will be 100+. Make a point of having a reusable bottle to hand when out and about, and find out where the fountains are here.
5. Start using a zero waste shop
There's a way to go before packaging-free shops become the norm. But London's made a healthy start with places like BYO in Nunhead; Patoka in Wembley; and Hetu in Wandsworth.
6. Go on a Thames clean-up
The health of the Thames has improved in recent years, thanks to people like Thames21, the army of environmentalists who organise various clean-ups along London's shores. They could always use an extra pair of hands — why not make it yours.
7. Go on a charity shop clothes crawl
Walk past Primark. Close that ASOS tab. London's charity shops are a goldmine of secondhand threads. Charity shop shopping is also a double whammy of raising money for good causes, and being eco-conscious at the same time. Here's a charity shop crawl we made earlier.
8. Support an NHS charity
The NHS is critically underfunded, which is why there are also charities set up to help swell the coffers. The likes of King's College Hospital Charity and UCLH NHS Foundation Trust constantly need donations and fundraisers. Think of them next time you're doing a sponsored run, or even just selling off some bits and bobs at a jumble sale.
9. Never forget that #LondonIsOpen
No one really knows what Brexit now has in store for London, or some of the immigrants who live here. But spearheaded by a strong #LondonIsOpen campaign from the current mayor, we won't forget just how important immigration, multiculturalism and diversity is in this city. Whether that means trying out a new food store, or visiting the Black Cultural Archives, a little extra effort is now required to make everyone feel welcome.
10. Keep protesting
Not all Londoners have the same views. But 2019 has seen some protests for/against things you could hardly quibble about, including Extinction Rebellion (even if the tube protest was a misfire), and Donald's Trump's state visit. We've been along to quite a few of these protests. And although it sometimes feels like you're hitting your head against a brick wall, it's vital that Londoners continue to be loud and proud when they see injustices unfolding. Don't let any idiot tell you to 'get a job' or 'take a bath'.