Want to get involved with the true spirit of the season?
THE last year hasn’t been one of good tidings to all and there are many reasons to be fed up – but switch off that toxic social media and look around you.
This week, I saw examples of kindness and generosity, from older people being given seats on buses and helped along frosty streets, to the woman who bought all the seller’s Big Issues (and promptly gave them back) or the students giving out warm coats and sandwiches to the homeless.
We are a nation of givers, from charitable donations to volunteering and giving time, I’m proud that the UK is one of the most generous countries when it comes to helping others less fortunate.
But it’s not always easy to get started. Here’s how you can get involved.
JANUARY is the time of year when people need help the most. Speak to the Samaritans (samaritans.org/volunteer-us) or Sane (sane.org.uk/how_you_ can_help/volunteer) about volunteering for their helplines – or if you have a favourite charity, ask them how you can get involved more directly.
I know a lot of people worry about whether they’ll be able to cope but most callers simply need someone to listen to them and understand how they feel.
OLDER people often find Christmas particularly hard. Age UK (ageuk.org.uk/ contact-us/volunteering) offers a wide range of ways to help, from befriending someone to setting up events. Or just speak to older or more vulnerable neighbours, check their essential services are working and invite them round if you can.
Charities across the country need volunteers all year round