Christmas Volunteering

Volunteering around Christmas and New Year is always popular.

We are likely to receive requests from keen volunteers offering their free time. If you have any new or old volunteer opportunities taking place around Christmas and New Year, please email and we will advertise them for you online.

Here are our 5 top tips for groups looking to involve volunteers over Christmas:

  1. Be clear about when you’re open and when you need someone – transport can be limited over the holidays and people will be making an effort to get to you.
  2. It’s probably best to try and offer roles that involve being with people – most people volunteering over Christmas are looking for connection with others.
  3. Wherever possible, try not to leave anyone ‘out of pocket’ – think about reimbursing everyone’s expenses.
  4. Think through if involving volunteers in a role over Christmas will be appropriate – if it’s a role requiring a DBS check for example, there may not be time to do that.
  5. Are there ways you could recognise people’s contribution – a Christmas party for instance?

…and here are top 5 tips for individuals looking to volunteer over Christmas:

  1. Avoid ‘over-stretching’ yourself  - it’s wonderful to want to reach out to others at Christmas, but doing too much could leave you exhausted and even, unwell.
  2. Don’t be embarrassed about reclaiming your expenses - money can feel particularly tight at this time of year.
  3. Plan ahead – waiting until Christmas Eve to try and organise something, may mean doing something far from what you really want, or ending up with nothing
  4. Get as good a picture as possible as to what you might be doing and be prepared to be flexible – serving hot soup to people who need it is a popular image, there are though many other equally valuable things to do.
  5. Volunteering’s not just for Christmas? – this could be a great way to see if you want to get into helping out regularly and if you want to keep it to a one-off, once a year experience, well that’s great too!

Whatever you do…we hope it’s a wonderful experience. Here are some ideas we know about already…

Host families - Christmas opportunity

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. If you would like to invite an international student to stay for a few days at Christmas or any other time of the year, please contact HOST on 020 7739 6292 or

Help collect donations at the UK’s largest food drive this Christmas

The UK’s leading food distribution charity, FareShare is looking for volunteers to join our fantastic food drive team to help fight hunger in the UK. 8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat – that’s the equivalent to the population of London. Make a difference to them by volunteering this Christmas.

How You Can Help

  • Volunteers are needed to help collect food donations from customers for a few hours in their local store.
  • Volunteers will be in store handing out the FareShare ‘shopping list’ and collecting donations from customers whilst spreading some Christmas cheer.
  • In just 3 hours, you could collect enough food for 600 meals!

Sign up now! Visit to sign up for a shift. You can sign up as an individual or create a team to bring some friends, colleagues or family along with you! Any questions, please contact