The nights are drawing in, the mince pies have hit the shelves and the festive jingles have begun. Perhaps you’re excited to spend some quality time with the family, or maybe the worry has started to set in on what you are going to get your great-aunt for Christmas.
Although the festive period is usually associated with family celebrations, catching up with friends, exchanging gifts and delicious food, for some people it can be a little more difficult. At Caffe Clifton, we’re always looking for ways to help the community, that’s why we’ve pulled together some ideas of how we can all help those less fortunate over the festive period.
It could be something as simple as office fancy dress, a quiz or bake sale. Or maybe you and your colleagues could take on a challenge or sports activity such as a sponsored spin.
Supporting your local charity is a great way to help those in need around Christmas time and bring festive cheer to the workplace.
Caffe Clifton’s charity of the year, Above and Beyond, support the local hospitals of Bristol. This year they are running a ‘National Elf Service’ fundraiser where everyone dresses up as an elf or another festive character for the day and makes a contribution to charity.
Loneliness affects thousands of elderly people each year – in fact, it is estimated that around 300,000 people over the age of 65 have gone a month without talking to a friend or relative. With Christmas traditionally being a time to spend time with family and friends it can be a particularly difficult time for the elderly. However, there are multiple ways you can help!
You can volunteer to spend time chatting over the phone to someone, meet them in person, send them a Christmas card or simply make a donation so the charities can continue their invaluable work. There are many great charities out there looking for an extra pair of hands around Christmas, including the Marmalade Trust in Bristol. They pair up volunteers with their elderly members in the run up to the holiday and also host lunch on Christmas day itself.
Homelessness is a huge issue across the country and with the cold weather of winter sweeping in, the problem intensifies. One way to help is to volunteer at a local homeless shelter. There are a whole host of charities that facilitate this important work, including Caring in Bristol, who run a ‘Caring at Christmas’ campaign.
The project offers daytime support, overnight accomodation and food to hundreds of people over the Christmas period each year. The project costs over £60,000 to run annually so any donations are very much welcomed.
Sadly, food banks are a vital resource for many individuals and families across the country. There are many organisations that run food banks here in Bristol, including The Trussell Trust who have locations in Fishponds, Kingswood and Easton. Over 90% of the food taken at these locations is kindly donated by the public. If you’d like to support the food banks, you can donate to them directly or via some local supermarkets. They also take one off and regular donations.
We hope that our ideas give you some inspiration on how you can help those less fortunate this Christmas. We would like to add that charities need help all year round, please don’t be restricted to the festive period!
This Christmas, at Caffe Clifton, we’ll be running an ‘X’ marks the spot treasure hunt competition to raise money for Above and Beyond so please do pop in and have a go, we would love to see you!