Seasonal charity initiatives are the perfect way to have yourself a merry little Christmas and give back to those less fortunate, with plenty taking place across the county and beyond.
From sending a card and gifting a toy, to filling a box full of goodies for those in need, SoGlos has discovered 10 Christmas charity initiatives to get involved with this winter, right on your doorstep in Gloucestershire.
1. Lilian Faithfull Care
Although the last two years have been challenging for those living and working in care homes, Gloucestershire-based Lilian Faithfull Care has been doing everything it can to keep its residents safe and happy.
This Christmas, Lilian Faithfull Care is teaming up with Cheltenham-based office equipment supplier Officeworx so local schoolchildren can send Christmas messages to its residents as part of its Christmas Letter Appeal 2021.
For more information, visit lilianfaithfullcare.co.uk.
2. Sue Ryder Christmas appeal
Sue Ryder operates Gloucestershire’s only inpatient unit for specialist palliative care. Sue Ryder is asking Gloucestershire residents to support its latest fundraising campaign, with donations from the county’s locals going towards helping families to fill their final Christmas with love.
The vital funds will help those across Gloucestershire to spend their Christmas surrounded by the things they love most, with Sue Ryder’s teams going above and beyond to provide expert end-of-life care and help families say proper goodbyes. Every donation helps fund their palliative, neurological care and bereavement support children-family/49183/Sue-Ryder-expert-insight-How-to-manage-grief-over-Christmas.
For more information, visit sueryder.org.
3. Hope for Tomorrow Easy Fundraising
Hope for Tomorrow’s mobile cancer care unit has provided a safer alternative to hospital visits for Gloucestershire’s vulnerable cancer patients during the Coronavirus crisis.
You can help raise money for Hope for Tomorrow when you’re Christmas shopping this festive season through Easy Fundraising. Select Hope for Tomorrow as your chosen charity and shop online as usual.
For more information, visit hopefortomorrow.org.uk.
4. Caring for Communities and People – CCP Hamper Scamper
Gloucestershire charity CCP organises a Christmas giving scheme, Hamper Scamper, which aims to spread Christmas cheer and provide food parcels and gifts to disadvantaged children, young people and families.
In 2020, the appeal delivered 2,200 gifts and 1,953 food hampers to families in need, with 330 volunteers donating their time to help out. There are many ways to take part in Hamper Scamper, such as donating food or gifts; organising a collection at a workplace, church or school; making a financial contribution; or helping with sorting, wrapping and packing.
For more information, visit ccp.org.uk.
5. Allsorts Christmas gift appeal
Stroud-based children’s charity Allsorts provides activity sessions for children with additional needs, including sport, music and play – offering emotional support and digital fitness classes throughout the pandemic.
This festive season, the charity is asking for gift donations to their Toy Library, a treasure trove of toys and games, as well as specialist equipment, which can ease some of life’s daily challenges too.
For more information visit allsortsglos.org.uk.
6. Longfield Hospice Light up a Life appeal
With Christmas around the corner, many of us are looking forward to celebrating with family and friends. Since the pandemic, time with loved ones feels even more special, but some people with life-limiting illnesses may still spend their last Christmas in hospital.
Gloucestershire charity, Longfield Hospice, supports adults with life-limiting and terminal illnesses by offering free, expert care in their own home. Light up a Life is an opportunity to remember and celebrate family and friends who are no longer with us, by donating and dedicating a star to someone special. The next Light up a Life celebration is on Friday 17 December 2021 at Minchinhampton Parish Church.
For more information visit longfield.org.uk.
7. Emmaus Gloucestershire’s Christmas cards
Emmaus Gloucestershire provides long-term support for people struggling with homelessness in the county. The last year saw the number of people losing their jobs and homes increase, with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic still continuing.
For loved ones near or far, sending a festive card is a great way to spread some Christmas cheer. Emmaus Gloucestershire is selling Christmas cards in all of its shops as a festive way to raise funds. Each pack comes with 10 cards and envelopes for £3.50, with all profits going directly back to the charity.
For more information, visit emmaus.org.uk.
8. Gloucestershire Bundles Christmas appeal
Gloucestershire Bundles is working tirelessly this Christmas season putting together bundles of goodies for families in need across the county. The charity is asking for donations of new clothes, pyjamas, books and toys, for children aged up to 16-years-old.
Donations can be dropped off at its unit in Gloucester, while it also has an Amazon wish list for anyone who would prefer to order a gift online.
For more information, visit gloucestershirebundles.org.
9. Cheltenham Open Door Christmas appeal
Local charity, Cheltenham Open Door, provides free services for disadvantaged and vulnerable people, including those who are homeless or dealing with financial hardship. As well as providing Christmas dinners, it also gives Christmas stockings and gift bags to its guests.
It’s accepting donations at its Cheltenham unit, with items on its wish list including toiletries, games and puzzles, books, edible treats, and new pants and socks. Gifts can be donated wrapped and ready to go, or unwrapped so volunteers can make up an individual gift bag for someone in need.
For more information, visit cheltenhamopendoor.org.
10. Pied Piper Big Christmas Raffle
With prizes including £500 cash donated by the Penguin Uniform in Cheltenham, the Pied Piper Appeal is offering a chance to win multiple different prizes in its Big Christmas Raffle.
Raffle tickets cost £2 each or £10 for a book of five, with the money raised going towards supporting sick and disabled children in Gloucestershire – from providing specialist equipment to the children’s centre at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, supplying transport and education equipment to the county’s SEND schools, to giving children with life-limiting illnesses and their families a dream-come-true holiday.
For more information, visit piedpiperappeal.co.uk.
By Jack Shute