Christmas campaigns for national charities are in fully swing, but have you ever looked closer to home? It’s smaller local organisations at the heart of our communities that are really making a difference and have also been hardest hit by the pandemic. Now is the perfect time to support them and their users and there are lots of simple ways you can help both up to Christmas and beyond.
We’ll be updating the information below throughout the run up to Christmas. If you’re a local organisation with something to share – please contact us.
Know of something worthwhile we haven’t highlighted? Let us know
Share your shopping
Don’t forget to pop a little something into your trolley for the Foodbank as you start to stock up for the big day. Runnymede, Spelthorne and Surrey Heath Foodbanks all have lists of items they’re in need of here. But don’t leave it too late as they start preparing Christmas deliveries in early December - click here to find your nearest foodbank
Cards that care
Lots of us already choose charity cards to send out at Christmas, but did you know some local charities produce their own designs? White Lodge, Woking and Sam Beare Hospice and Princess Alice Hospice have a range of designs which you can easily buy online.
Local charity shops also often have a good selection of cards on offer (and maybe you’ll find some bargain gifts while you’re in there).
But have you considered going cardless this Christmas and making a donation to charity instead? Many local charities have their own websites and donate buttons making it easy and simple to give. And there are some wonderful causes – from charities like Eikon supporting mental health in schools to the Village Centre in Englefield Green offering range of services to the local community.
Give a gift that really matters
It can feel nice to give a physical gift rather than just make a cash donation and lots of charities really welcome this.
Just a Helping Hand is a Chertsey-based organisation supporting the homeless. They are creating rucksacks of useful items for those in need including items like shampoo bars, hats, gloves etc. Maybe get together with some friends and each buy something to put in the rucksack. These are needed by December 15th.
The Salvation Army in Addlestone are running their annual Christmas present appeal, looking for donations of new toys, books or gift vouchers for local children who otherwise may not receive a gift this year. You can drop items to the Salvation Army Hall in Addlestone between 9 and 12 Monday to Friday before December 10th or we also welcome donations to our office in Chertsey.
Home Start Surrey Heath in Camberley are collecting toys for local children in need. You can donate at the Entertainer in Camberley or High Cross Church until December 6th.
Many charities create a gift list on Amazon so you can buy exactly what they need:
• Oasis Childcare in Cobham support children in vulnerable situation. They provide food hampers for families, and also look to offer gifts to the children. See their list here
• Hersham Hounds are looking for items to support their work with retired racing greyhounds – details here
• Transform Housing provides housing and support to over 1,500 homeless and vulnerable people each year across Surrey. Find out about their needs here
Or you can simply ensure you support local charities as you buy gifts for others. Shop using Amazon Smile and donate to local charities as you buy – lots of local charities are listed and you can search easily for them here. Each time you buy something on Amazon, your chosen charity gets a portion of the purchase price.
Feelgood festive events
Nothing like a Christmas market or Santa run to get you in the festive mood – just don’t forget to pre-register for these.
Woking and Sam Beare Hospice are combing the two with a Christmas market and a fun run on December 5th at Woking Leisure Cente.
White Lodge have added a canine twist to their festive exercise with a Santa Paws Lakeside Walk at Virginia Water on December 4th.
Or if you’re heading to Guildford for some Christmas shopping, why not combine it with Kelly’s Santa Fun Run at Stoke Park on December 5th where they are raising money for Challengers – a charity that helps disabled children and their families.
Surplus to Supper, a Sunbury-based charity working across North Surrey to bridge the gap between food waste and food poverty, are hosting a shopping evening on 2nd December from 6.30 to 8.30.
Look ahead to 2022
Don’t let the end of Christmas mark the end of your interest in supporting great local charities.
As you look to spring cleaning or wonder what to do with unwanted Christmas gifts, think about donating goods to local organisations. Good quality and new items are particularly welcomed by many local organisations.
Your Sanctuary support survivors of domestic abuse. They particularly welcome donations of unopened and unused toiletries and perfumes.
As you start to think about making New Year’s resolutions, consider giving some of your time to volunteer. There are lots of opportunities whatever your skills and availability – take a look on our website where you can search current opportunities and you can register your details with us to receive regular updates of new opportunities.