Want to get in­volved with the true spirit of the sea­son?

Manchester Evening News - - YOUR MONEY -

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.

Mungo’s (mun­gos.org/get­involved/other-ways-todonate).

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

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