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Volunteer Gardening 1

5 to Follow: To Volunteer Over the Festive Season

By / December 17, 2018
   
   

Listen, we get it. You’re tucking into your fifth mince pie, and settling into watching Elf for the fifteenth time on the sofa. You don’t feel capable of taking the bins out let alone actually getting dressed and out into the real world. But it’s worth remembering that the festive season is as much about what you give back as take away – and what better way to give back than by signing up to do some volunteering over the holiday period. Here are five opportunities that will help you get into the true spirit of the season. 

You follow your favourite artists, venues, and meme accounts on Instagram. Now, you can keep up with your favourite event creators on Eventbrite. Simply tap the follow button on an event organiser’s page and you’ll get an email from Eventbrite whenever a new event goes on sale so you’ll never have to experience FOMO again.

For the community-driven: Sufra NW London

Who they are looking for:

Volunteer Drivers to drop off guests at Sufra NW’s Christmas meal for families living in poverty and disadvantaged individuals. There are also opportunities to lend a hand at their food bank, community kitchens and refugee resettlement programme. Follow Sufra NW London to find out about volunteer opportunities.

Why:

You can feel part of a community spirit and meet some great people along the way at Sufra NW. The Christmas Eve and Christmas Day volunteer opportunities are already sold out but there are plenty more opportunities available to help the charity on their mission, which is to provide food for families who can’t afford to eat, support vulnerable Londoners, and raise education standards. It can be a lifeline for those living in extreme poverty, especially over the festive period.

For the bike nerd: The Bike Project

Who they are looking for:

New volunteers to fix up old bikes. Whether you’re a tour de France technician in waiting or complete novice.

Why:

The Bike Project trains volunteers in the mechanic skills required to fix up bikes – which are then collected and used by refugees and asylum seekers. You can give those with little or no access to transport the gift of a ride-able bike for Christmas.

Bike Shop

For the people person: SANE, Mental Health Charity

Who they are looking for:

Anyone who’s willing to take part in fundraising, or take on volunteering opportunities with SANE’s helpline and Textcare. There will be high-quality training programme to guide you through the latter, and you can attend this SANE Volunteer Evening if you want to learn more. Follow SANE for information.

Why:

Why not try a 5k run, or carol singing, or a charity wreath making evening? You might want to start your resolutions early, or even just have a good-natured bit of festive fun with friends. Either way, you’re raising money for a charity committed to improving the lives of those living with mental health issues. Alternatively, you can receive training to volunteer for SANE’s helplines, and go into 2019 committed to spending a small amount of your time helping others in need.

For the green fingered: Urban Growth Learning Gardens

Who they are looking for:

Gardeners of any level to help out at The Jetty, where there are 7 polytunnels full of diverse and eye-catching plants and beds to tend to. There are also many other fun outdoor volunteer opportunities at community and urban gardens around London. Follow Urban Growth Learning Gardens for details about how your green fingers can make a difference.

Why:

Sometimes you need to escape the Christmas hustle and bustle and take to the great outdoors for some much needed fresh air. In locations like Pop Brixton and The Jetty, you can help out by caring for plants, taking cuttings, and generally maintaining our precious green spaces. Wrap up warm, and enjoy taking part in caring for community and urban gardens.

Community Gardening

For the caring: CARAS

Who they are looking for:

Anyone who is keen to attend a volunteer training session, and has an interest in leading or taking part in study groups for refugees, educational activities, women’s drop-ins and more. Follow CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) for more information.

Why:

The festive period seems as good a time as any to give back to the community. Maybe you want to lead a maths study group, or give support to women about vital issues. Either way, there’s so much you can do to volunteer for CARAS. The charity supports refugees and asylum seekers, and you will meet some amazing people through the diverse volunteering opportunities on offer.

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