Winter Volunteering

Looking to do some winter volunteering? This time of year makes us feel thankful for what we’ve got, and like we should give something back. This is great, because it can be a tough time for many.

Organisations find that their usual volunteers are busy or away over the festive period, so they may need more help than usual, or they may be looking for temporary support for the services they’re offering over the winter period.

Check out some of our winter volunteering suggestions!

Winter night shelters and homelessness organisations

Crisis works at Christmas and all year round to help people experiencing homelessness find their own stable home and access education and training.  Every Christmas, local volunteers come together to provide warmth, companionship and vital services to people experiencing homelessness, at one of the toughest times of the year.  In London, volunteering opportunities normally take place over multiple days and are based in community venues and hotels.

The Whitechapel Mission will be open this Christmas, and throughout the winter, to ensure that everybody in need of hot food, showers, clothing, advice and safety will have somewhere to go.

Glass Door Homeless Charity could not operate their winter night shelters without the dedication of their night shelter volunteer teams who prepare and serve guests a healthy home-cooked meal, as well as making them feel welcome and safe. Volunteers also support Glass Door’s women’s group, partner drop-in centres and office, deliver donations, and help with translating. There may be opportunities for women to join their women’s night shelter volunteer teams; complete the form online and they’ll be in touch if an opportunity matches your availability.

Other winter night shelters: There are plenty more winter night shelters across London. Why not Google ‘Local winter night shelter near me’ and contact your nearest one and see if it needs volunteers this year?

Festive food aid and Christmas dinners

South London Christmas Dinners are looking for volunteers interested in hosting care leavers in need on Christmas day, decorating and supporting with social media.

The Food Chain are looking for Christmas Day Drivers to collect and take guests to Christmas Celebrations, ensuring no-one spends the holiday alone.

Check out our food aid volunteering page for more. Many of the organisations mentioned there will likely need extra help during the busy festive period!

Remote volunteering to combat loneliness

Re-Engage is looking for volunteers to spend some time over winter to help with their Community Christmas project. This is a flexible, short-term voluntary role, based at home, where you make calls to the same older person over December. If you’re a good listener and able to make people feel at ease, this could be the role for you. Training and support will be given and you can decide when is the best time for you to make calls.

Get ‘elfing’ at a British Heart Foundation shop

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is calling for the public to try out ‘elfing’ and lend a hand in their local charity shop. At one of their busiest periods, they’re looking for elfs to help with everything from creating window displays, working in the warehouse, steaming clothes or helping out on the shop floor. To find out more, give your local BHF shop a call, pop in for a chat, or visit the BHF website.


Feeling inspired?

These are just a handful of ideas; there will be hundreds more projects and activities going on this winter in London’s communities.

Share your festive volunteering story and inspire others!

We’d love to hear the stories of those volunteers who have helped over the festive period before.  Film a quick video message, dig out a picture and share them with us here.

Are you looking for winter volunteers?

If we can help share details of your winter volunteering opportunities, please get in touch