Christmas Volunteering in Hackney and Beyond

This blog was posted in 2017! Find out how to get involved this year: search our database or email our team at [email protected] There are many ways to volunteer in the run up to Christmas and on the day itself, from helping out at Santa Dashes, making Xmas cards for isolated people, helping out at


This blog was posted in 2017! Find out how to get involved this year: search our database or email our team at [email protected]

There are many ways to volunteer in the run up to Christmas and on the day itself, from helping out at Santa Dashes, making Xmas cards for isolated people, helping out at Xmas Dinners and lunches or if you are time-short you can donate hamper items and presents to lots of worthwhile causes. Check out our list below

HACKNEY OPPORTUNITIES

VOLUNTEER CENTRE HACKNEY – CHRISTMAS CHEER VOLUNTEERS
Make a much needed phone call on Christmas Day to people who are lonely, isolated or vulnerable. They need volunteers for an hour or two on Christmas Day to have a friendly, supportive chat to people on our Community Supporters and Step Up Project. No particular skills necessary just a willingness to reach out to someone. Festive treats included! Contact us on [email protected]

ST JOSEPH’S HOSPICE – WINTER KNEES UP
St Joseph’s Hospice are turning into a winter wonderland, complete with Santa’s grotto, festive fundraising games, entertainment, donkeys and much, much more. They have a number of volunteering opportunities including getting creative by making home-made paper chains, fake Christmas cards and presents, snowflakes, Christmas stars and anything else you like as long as it’s Christmassy!

They are also looking for volunteers on Saturday 16th December, during the day to help out with their stalls. They will also be holding a number of carol concerts and bucket collections, for example every Wednesday in the lead up to Christmas they will be bucket collecting with the choir on Colombia Road’s Christmas market. Call Robyn Carlson on 0208 525 6070.

VOLUNTEER CENTRE HACKNEY – THRIFTY XMAS DECORATION MAKERS
Learn how to make your own home-made decorations from everyday household items. Finished decorations will be donated to a local charity in Hackney. Find out more. Book your free place.

HACKNEY WINTER NIGHT SHELTER
Hackney Winter Night Shelter provides a hot meal and a warm bed for homeless guests who would otherwise be out on the streets during the coldest winter months. It is run by more than 750 volunteers at venues around Hackney and they are looking for volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to help out at their shelters, including tasks like preparing the venue, cooking, serving food, ad talking to guests. Find out more here.

HACKNEY XMAS DINNERS FOR CARE LEAVERS
An opportunity to volunteer or donate presents for a Christmas dinner for Hackney care leavers. They are looking for volunteers to help set-up on Christmas Eve or help out at the dinner on Christmas Day. Or you can donate a present! Click here to find out more .

HOMERTON HOPE
Homerton Hope is a charity providing vital support and funds to the Homerton Hospital to help them pay for additional equipment, research and innovations, as well as finishing touches and ‘extras’ that complement the quality care for patients at the Hospital. . If you would like to be involved, make a donation or fundraise for them, contact them or visit their website to find out more.

HOST UK – VOLUNTEER HOSTS
Christmas is a time to be around family and friends, but hundreds international students across the country are likely to spend the festivities alone on a closed-down University campus. HOST arranges for volunteer hosts to invite a student from Christmas Eve until 27th December, turning an otherwise lonely Christmas into one of celebration of warmth. Invite an international student to stay for a few days at Christmas or any other time of the year.

KITH AND KIDS – CHRISTMAS PROJECT VOLUNTEER
Kith and Kids supports people of all abilities and ages to discover and develop their potential, building a community where everyone is welcome and valued for who they are. They are looking for volunteers to help out with creative activity workshops and outings to support the development of independent living skills in enjoyable ways. They also need volunteer minibus drivers for outings, cooks to help prepare lunch, support for participants to use computers and workshop leaders/assistants. Find out more here.

SAMARA’S AID APPEAL
Samara’s Aid is a humanitarian relief charity that collects and distributes clothes, shoes, bedding, toiletries/hygiene items, essential medical equipment, ambulances and school equipment to war-torn places to that other aid agencies may have missed or people who cannot access help themselves. There are many ways to get involved from volunteering, to donating much needed items, to hosting a Syrian dinner. Find out more here. 

FARESHARE – FOOD COLLECTION
FareShare are hosting their 10th annual food collection with Tesco – the UK’s largest food drive. They will be collecting long-life food from shoppers in Tesco stores UK-wide on Thursday 30 November, Friday 1 December and Saturday 2 December. If you can spare a few hours to help collect food on any of the days above, please sign up for a shift at a store near you. In just 3 hours, you could collect enough food for 600 meals! Find out more info and sign up here.  

CHRISTMAS OPPORTUNITIES ACROSS LONDON

CRISIS AT CHRISTMAS
Crisis at Christmas 2017 will be running from 22nd to 30th December in 9 centres across London. The project is a lifeline for thousands of homeless people. They offer support, companionship, activities and vital services, during the holiday period and help people to take their first steps out of homelessness. To make this happen, they need to more than 10,000 volunteers. You can sign up as a General, Logistics, Service or Activities and Entertainments volunteer. Sign up here.

LONDON NEW YEARS DAY PARADE
The London New Year’s Day Parade is looking for volunteers to join their team of Parade Makers. Applications officially close on the 30th of November. Fill out their LNYDP Application Form.

RNIB
RNIB need volunteers for various activities across London. Do you enjoy meeting people and have a flair for Christmas gift wrapping? They need volunteers to join in their fun and festive Christmas stand at Foyles Book Store. Christmas Gift Wrapping at Foyles Book Store Charing Cross. They also need enthusiastic and friendly Christmas Collectors to help at collections at train stations and shopping centres alongside choir groups. Stations include Victoria, Waterloo, Cannon Street and Kings Cross.

GO FORWARD YOUTH – CHRISTMAS DINNER VOLUNTEERS
Go Forward provide services for care leavers and are hosting a Christmas dinner for care leavers on Christmas Day, in Islington and are currently recruiting volunteers. Contact them for more information.

BASKET BRIGADE
The Yes Group London Basket Brigade offers Londoners the chance to make donations all year round and also the opportunity to come together on the 23rd December and put those donations to good use, providing food hampers to families who struggle to put food on the table at Christmas. It’s a highlight of the year in hundreds of people’s calendar and we hope you’ll not only donate your money to help us feed more people, but also your time to help us deliver more baskets. See website to register to volunteer or donate items.

DESIGN FOR THE QUAKERS
The Quaker Christmas Shelter offers beds to the homeless over the festive period, as well as food, entertainment at Union Chapen in Highbury and Islington. They’d like someone creative to help produce artwork that will encourage vulnerable people to visit the shelter. They are also looking for volunteers for a number of roles from 23-30th December. Find out more here.

CHASING ELVES!
Haven House Children’s Hospice provides a range of services to children with life limiting conditions. They need enthusiastic stewards for their fun run, which sees participants run around a festive 10k course in an exciting Christmas themed challenge! Find out more here.

GREAT ORMOND STREET HOSPITAL – LONDON SANTA DASH
Need enthusiastic people to volunteer as Santa’s little helpers for various roles for their Famous Santa Dash on Sunday 3rd December, 8am – 2pm. The proceeds will benefit Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital to keep families, of children receiving treatment, together over the holidays. Volunteers will receive an event day t-shirt and meal during their shift. Contact to get involved.

SAVE THE CHILDREN – CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY!
Save the Children is looking for volunteer promoters to help them spread the word and get people signed up to their Christmas Jumper Day. On 15th December, they are calling on woolly-lovers to get together in their favourite festive knitwear and donate! Find out more.

ST JOHN’S HOSPICE – EVENT VOLUNTEERS
Help out at their popular annual Christmas Fayre on Sunday 3rd December in St John’s Wood. You can choose between three shifts – or all day if you like. This is a fab opportunity to volunteer with friends and loved ones. Find out more and apply here.

INSPIRED MUSIC AND ARTS – SOUL CHRISTMAS EVENT
They need enthusiastic volunteers to help them with this very special event. The roles are quite varied and include: Event organising: helping in the lead up to the main event; Marketing activities: ticket sales, social media and PR activities; Stewards – helping out in the evening of the event; Setting up and Clearing Away. Check out the details and apply here.

BRAINWAVE – EVENT VOLUNTEERS
Brainwave help children with disabilities and additional needs and they are looking for a number of events volunteers on Monday 11th December for their annual, sell-out event, The London Santa Dash, which raises minded for Brainwave. Starting and finishing at Old Spitalfields Market, Santas will also receive a cheeky drink once they cross the finish line. Roles are varied and include stewarding the route, registering participants, handing out medals and cheering teams as they cross the finish line. They welcome volunteers to join in any time from 3-9.30pm. Individuals, pairs and groups are all welcome to volunteer on the day. Find out more and apply here.

FOOD CHAIN – EVENT VOLUNTEERS
They are looking for volunteers for three seasonal events. The Christmas season kicks off with two Christmas Concerts on Saturday 9th December, 7.30pm at St Marylebone Parish Church, Marylebone Road, NW1 5LT and Monday 11th: December, 6pm at Western Courtyard, Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YE. Both concerts will be lovely festive occasions and a chance to raise the profile of The Food Chain in the local community, and they need a few volunteers at each event to shake those collection tins!

These will be followed by the Christmas Food Hamper Drive on Friday 15th December, 9am-12.30pm at Waitrose The Brunswick Centre, Bloomsbury WC1N 1AF. Volunteers will be asking shoppers to add an item or two from our shopping list to their baskets and then donating them once they’ve bought them. All of the items will then be packaged up as Christmas Hampers for their Service Users, providing them with some much-needed essential store cupboard items to get them through the festive period. They’ll also need a hand getting the items back to the kitchen, so a driver would be very much appreciated at the end! Full details about both roles are here.

THE NATIONAL BRAIN APPEAL – FUNDRAISERS AND EVENT VOLUNTEERS
They are looking for a volunteer to support the fundraising team at events they organise throughout the year as well as supporting fundraisers who organise their own events. Including their Christmas carol concert on Thursday 14th December, dinners, lectures as well as their challenge/sporting events such as the London Marathon & Santa Run. Find out more and apply for The National Brain Appeal volunteering on their website.

CARDS FOR GOOD – POP-UP SHOP VOLUNTEER
Card for Good run over 200 pop-up shops selling Christmas Cards and related things to benefit hundreds of Charities, national and local. Their shop in St Mary’s Church, Upper Street Islington is open Monday to Saturday, from early November until mid-December. Volunteers help with the running of the shop, organising the display, serving customers and refilling stock. If you have 1/2 day a week to spare for the next few weeks and would like to help, please do call in to see us between 10am and 5pm, or contact the Shop Manager, Jeremy Fairhead, on 07956 390961.

CARD AID
Card Aid shops stock cards from over 200 charities, and ensures that at least a minimum of 25% OF the price of packed stock goes directly to the charity. Fantastic volunteering opportunities are available in three of their London Card Aid Christmas Card shops this festive season.

  • St Mary Abbot, Kensington Church Street London, W8 4LA
  • St Mary le Bow, Cheapside London, EC2V 6AU
  • St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate, Bishopsgate London, EC2M 3TL

You can volunteer as often as possible, but for at least 3 hours a week, at a set time. You will be serving customers, labelling stock, helping out with signage and possibly even some PR, and generally assisting the shop manager where required. Contact Martha Wagstaff on 020 7794 9835, or e-mail [email protected] with your CV and/or cover letter.

WHITECHAPEL MISSION
The Whitechapel Mission often receives as many as 300 visitors a day during the yuletide period, and it needs a determined group of volunteers to provide for all these guests. You’ll be providing not only warm food, but a touch of warmth in the lives of those less fortunate — truly in the spirit of the Christmas holiday. Find out more.

ROTARY CLUB
After last year’s massive success, Rotary Club is organising another Christmas party in Battersea Park. Volunteers are needed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day — you can do just one, two, or all three days. Jobs include preparing the venue, helping with transport for the guests, serving food and clearing up afterwards. Find out more and apply.