It’ll be Covid this Christmas

4 December 2020

Christmas this year is going to be a little different. Covid restrictions mean many events and activities are unable to take place and opportunities for people to get together will be limited. Perhaps now more than ever we might need to think about supporting each other just a little more.

As part of our #DonateLocal campaign we’ve been thinking of ways people can spread Christmas cheer.   If you have any other thoughts or ideas we’d love to hear from you so we can share these with others.

Donate Time:

  • Christmas cards – Make, or buy these from local shops and deliver these locally. You may like to include your number with a message to let someone know they can get in touch if they need help with anything or just a chat.
  • Write to care home residents – Contact your local care home and see if they would welcome Christmas cards and letters. Some local shops are offering post collection boxes for exchange of post.
  • Telephone befriending – Across North Yorkshire there are a network of mutual aid and 23 Community Support Organisations (CSOs) helping those in need in our communities. Many of the CSOs are seeking people who could telephone others and offer a lifeline of friendship. You can find out further details of the CSO for your area here. The NHS and Royal Voluntary Service’s ‘Christmas Together initiative also aims to support people living alone or shielding by connecting them with a friendly voice who can phone them for a chat. You can also still sign up to be a Community Response Volunteer with the NHS, collecting and delivering shopping and other essentials, such as medication, to vulnerable people, by car or by foot.
  • Volunteering For life – not just for Christmas – There are many local charities looking for volunteers who can help not just over Christmas but throughout the year. You can find out details of just some of these opportunities by looking at our Volunteering in North Yorkshire (VINY) directory.
  • Social media – support a charity by following and sharing its social media comments.
  • The Great Winter Get Together, organised by the Jo Cox Foundation, runs from 14 December to 18 January, and encourages people to help out by joining virtual events, supporting a neighbour, or reaching out to an old friend

Volunteering your time isn’t the only option.

Donate Goods or Money:

  • Christmas fundraise for a local charity – There are lots of ways you can help from donating things you no longer need to offering neighbourhood services such as a gift wrapping or Christmas tree/recycling collections for a donation. You will need to arrange drop off/collection points to avoid contact.  What about a sponsored swim or walk, decorating the outside of your house and asking for donations for a charity?  With things being a little different this Christmas, lots of charities are asking people to get involved in festive fundraising digitally this year. Dress Up as an Elf – Alzheimers Society, go through Yorkshire Air Ambulance Advent calendar are just some of the options.  If you care about a cause, have a look on their website or social media and see how you can help.
  • Donate to your local food bank – Food banks provide an essential lifeline for families all year round, but especially at Christmas and especially in 2020. There are a number of food banks across North Yorkshire who, due to increasing demand, are seeking donations. You can donate items in the boxes/trolleys in local shops and supermarkets or alternatively cash donations are always welcome.  You can find details of current food shortages on group Facebook pages.
  • Donate to your local animal shelter – Why not contact them to see how you can help, from knitting dog blankets they can use or sell, to sponsoring a dog.

Christmas will undoubtedly be different this year, but there are still many ways that we can make it special. Perhaps one thing we’ve all seen this year is the value of kindness to others. The ideas above are just some of the ways that you can give something back to your community, and help as many people as possible have a merry Christmas.

We’d love to hear how you are supporting people in your community. Please tweet us @CommFirstYorks or tag us on Facebook @Comm1stYorks