Winter can be hard on many people in our communities and it’s going to be particularly difficult this year.
While there won’t be the usual festive one-off volunteering opportunities this year because of the Coronavirus restrictions, being kind and reaching out to neighbours can really make a difference – and makes you feel warm inside too!
Here are some ways you could help safely:
Reach out to your neighbours
You could pop a note through the doors of people living nearby giving your details and what you would be happy to help them with. It might be that you offer to check in with them every couple of weeks, or you may be comfortable giving more practical support like picking up essential supplies if they have no one else to call on. It’s best to be clear on expectations. You can read our tips on how to stay safe while volunteering in the pandemic here.
Join your local volunteer group
You could get involved in the day-to-day support your neighbourhood group will be continuing to give over Christmas. Contact The Centre if you need help finding a group.
Donate to a food bank
It’s a sad fact that many people are struggling to pay for food right now and Christmas is extra pressure. Find your local food bank here. Be sure to check their donation times and the list of items they currently need the most.
Help the homeless
CHESS and Sanctus homeless charities are working incredibly hard to support people who do not have a home over Christmas and your donation will help them carry out that work. Make sure you check their list of most-needed items.
Volunteering is for life, not just for Christmas
Take a look at the opportunities on the Volunteering page of our website. Many of them will need people over Christmas, and you might be surprised what you can fit into your life going forwards.
Share your experiences of helping at Christmas – and inspire others!
Any help you can give at Christmas is appreciated and we would love to hear about it! Post a photo on Facebook with #SpiritofChelmsford and tag us in @ChelmsfordCVS. We can say thank you, inspire others wishing to help and spread a little Christmas Spirit of Chelmsford!
Keep an eye on our social media as we will be highlighting what other local initiatives you can help with.
Want to show you care but don’t know where to start? Here are some great ideas on ways to be kind, reach out and support each other:
• The Mental Health Foundation has some really great ideas on how to show kindness and brighten up someone’s day.
• The Royal Voluntary Service has produced a practical guide on how to stay safe, warm and well this winter:
• The Great Winter Get Together recognises that more people are feeling lonely this year because of Coronavirus and gives five simple ways to connect.