Making a difference this ChristmasJulia Shipston
Ever thought of accompanying a partially-sighted person on a Christmas holiday trip to the Lochs of Scotland? Or hosting a tea party at your home to spread a little cheer amongpeople who would otherwise be alone and unsupported during the festive period?
TimeBank, the national volunteering charity, has launched a special Christmas section on its website in response to all the requests it receives for volunteering opportunities in December.
Volunteers can choose to participate in everything from providing much-needed Christmas cheer and entertainment to homeless people (Crisis), packing and dispatching shoeboxes full of donated gifts to children all over the world (Operation Christmas Child), or hosting an international student at their home on Christmas day (Host UK). More adventurous volunteers can also look into spending an unforgettable holiday in an exotic location, being the eyes for a partially-sighted person (Vitalise)!
Volunteers can decide how much time they want to commit – from a couple of hours on a day to a more regular slot. All they have to do is contact the charity for the opportunity they are interested in by visiting www.timebank.org.uk/christmas-volunteering
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of TimeBank says: “Christmas is the most popular time of year for people to volunteer, but don’t leave it too late to apply. Charities have to plan carefully months in advance. And work with vulnerable adults and children requires a CRB check, which takes a while to organise.”
So if you are thinking of volunteering this Christmas, now is the time to get planning. Volunteering is a great way to do something worthwhile in your community, make new friends and learn valuable new skills. Some research suggests that it also can reduce stress and improve your physical health too!
For further information please contact: Julia Shipston, [email protected], tel: 020 3111 0721/0771 316 3003.
TimeBank is a national volunteering charity that runs its own projects focussing on mentoring and youth-led volunteering. From social exclusion to digital inclusion, they are designed to tackle the big social issues head on. TimeBank has 12 years’ experience running mentoring projects: see www.timebank.org.uk for more information.