The holiday season is a great time to reflect on the good things that have happened this year and to give back a little something to the community. Offering some of your time to a charity can not only make you feel great (and make your CV look good) but also helps others at a difficult time of the year. We’ve come up with a list of 5 ways you can help others this Christmas;


  1. Walk a dog

Animal shelters are always looking for helping hands to walk dogs, clean cages and feed rescued pets. If you are pushed for time, you can also help by taking donations of food, blankets and toys for the animals to enjoy over the holidays. Take a look at the RSPCA website or the Southampton Animal Shelter Volunteer Program to find out more about the opportunities near you.


  1. Befriend an elderly person

With an estimated 500,000 elderly people spending Christmas alone, a little of your time spent in a retirement home could go a long way. Sign up to a befriending service to pay regular visits to an elderly person near you, or organise a secret Santa at your local retirement home


  1. Do hospital radio

Reports of overburdened medical departments are pretty regular these days, so why not help out your local hospital this Christmas with a voluntary stint on the radio or with mealtime assistance for those who need a bit of help. You could even arrange to visit the children’s ward in a Santa costume and hand out presents.


  1. Help the homeless

Soup kitchens are a great way to help the homeless and give something back. Help by donating food, blankets or clothes or by working in the kitchen helping to serve the local homeless population. You can also join outreach programs who seek out homeless people to provide them with food and blankets to get through the night.


  1. Feed needy familes

Provide emergency food to families in crisis by donating to your local food bank or volunteer some of your time handing out crisis parcels to those in need.


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