'Tis the season to volunteer!

It’s already a special time of year, but there’s something else that could make it even more special - giving your time to help some wonderful community organisations and charities who’d really appreciate your support. Read our fantastically-festive guide to find out what you can do over the next few weeks and make it a happy holiday for all.

The Shoebox Project want volunteers to sort and wrap gift-filled shoeboxes for women impacted by homelessness. It’s happening on Saturday 4 December and you won’t have to travel far either – it’s right here on campus! Sign-up and join other UCL students for this opportunity and wrap up the year (pun intended) in the best way possible.

You can also help less fortunate people and spread some much-needed kindness this holiday period. You could support City Harvest by sorting and packaging surplus food to people who need it most or become a Soup Kitchen or Food Bank volunteer with St John the Evangelist Church.

There are lots of charities that rely on the generosity of strangers to keep their services running – if you’d like to help these charities raise money, sign up as a bucket collector and have a direct hand in helping them secure those crucial funds. You’ll be spoilt for choice, as you can join St. Mungo’s, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK, Target Ovarian Cancer, and Mencap this month.

And it wouldn’t be a festive volunteering guide without us including some winter festival opportunities – you can support Carnaval De Pueblo on their stall at an arty winter market by making holly wreaths and piñatas. You could also lend a hand to Castlehaven with their WinterFEST 2021 event and just soak up the wonderfully wintery vibes. If you're an animal lover, you could support Kentish Town City Farm as a Festive Farm Fun volunteer - they need volunteers for donkey grooming, treasure trails, elves and more!

Any photographers here? Age UK Kensington and Chelsea are hosting a Christmas Party for isolated older people and they need someone who has a good eye for photography to take some snazzy shots. Speaking of Christmas parties, you can attend Poplar HARCA’s one for isolated older people and give them a helping hand with the festivities!

For some, the holidays can be a lonely time, so you want to make sure someone isn’t feeling isolated this winter (and beyond), you could become a befriender – like this telephone befriender role you can do remotely. There are plenty more befriending opportunities on our website too, so you can be a friendly face to someone who would really appreciate your company.

We hope we’ve got you inspired to take up volunteering this winter and spread some much-needed positivity. It hasn’t been an easy ride for the past two years and it's safe to say it’s made us grateful for things we used to take for granted. Make sure to grab on to any chance you get to make yourself (and others) happy - we think volunteering might be a good place to start!

Happy holidays!

If you liked the spread of roles we’ve provided here, we’ve got wayyyyy more on our directory – and they’re all amazing. Really. Check them out.