Be a force for good this December

1 December 2021

Oxford Brookes student volunteering at a food bank

T’is the season of giving - can you volunteer some time to support good causes or donate items to bring some Christmas cheer through local charities?

With Christmas fast approaching and in the lead up to International Volunteering Day on 5 December, read about some opportunities to support good causes by volunteering, or donate items to local groups to help bring a smile to those who need it most.

Support green spaces for NHS workers and users

Across NHS sites, green spaces make a huge difference to patients, carers and staff.

Oxford Health Charity is looking for volunteers to help support green spaces across the Trust in the coming months Locations include: Banbury, Didcot, Oxford, Wantage and Wycombe. If you or your friends are interested in supporting to make these spaces more beautiful and full of colour, joy and insects please get in touch with the team by emailing Julie Pink at: volunteering@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk.

One-off and micro-volunteering opportunities

This December the Oxford Brookes Careers Volunteer Centre is promoting a wide range of volunteer opportunities, including doing animal research with Zooniverse (online, anytime), playing games to raise rice for the UN with Free Rice (online, anytime), calling someone who has been isolated through Age UK (20-30 mins a week) or helping out with parcel deliveries this Christmas with Oxford Mutual Aid.

You can also help make cards for seriously ill children and their siblings in support of Post Pals on 8 December between 11.00am - 2.00pm outside Careers in the Forum, John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus.

More opportunities can be found on the Brookes Careers volunteering portal or you can contact Maya Patel, Volunteer Coordinator, on volunteering@brookes.ac.uk.

Oxford Homeless Project donations

Oxford Homeless Project plans to make at least 100 festive hampers for people in need and would be very grateful for your donations (new items only). The charity is looking for: sweets and treats, ‘fancy’ foods for Christmas, non alcoholic drinks, winter woollies, perfumes and toiletries, books and games, small toys and teddies, Christmassy gadgets, puzzles and stationary, or anything else you think would make someone smile!

Gifts should not be wrapped as items will be added to hampers based on who they are for; these will go to either vulnerable individuals/couples or families in need (with toddlers/ teens). Please drop off donations by 14 December at the East Oxford Community Centre. Just let them know they are for the Christmas hamper project.

If you would like to volunteer with wrapping, creating the hampers or distributing them, then please contact Keith who will organise volunteers: 07954 407742. The plan is to make these up and distribute them between 17-19 December at the East Oxford Community Centre.

The Gatehouse Christmas Present Appeal 2021

Each year The Gatehouse, a place offering free support for adults aged 25+ who are homeless, vulnerably housed, on low income and/or looking for company and community, gives its guests a small Christmas present. This year they are keen to receive donations of boxes of chocolates to hand out; these are very popular amongst their guests and often, Christmas is the only time of year they receive chocolate. Please ensure all chocolates are alcohol free. They need around 150 boxes to be able to offer each guest a box this year, can you help?

They are also appealing for donations of new pants and socks to keep their clothes store well stocked into 2022.

Donations can be dropped off on Sundays between 2.00pm and 4.00pm at The Gatehouse, 10 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HT. For further information, please email: zoe@oxfordgatehouse.org.