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Whether you're in NYC or across the pond in London Towne, the holidays are a beautiful time of year to to be with family and friends to enjoy the yuletide. But it doesn't matter where you are in the world to know that there are those who aren't as fortunate. With Christmas just around the corner, here are five great ways to show some love in the London community.

1. Crisis at Christmas
Crisis at Christmas provides centers across London between December 23-30th that offer vital companionship, hot meals and warmth, and a wide range of essential services that homeless people often miss out on. This year, Crisis expects nearly 3,000 guests to visit their ten centers across London, and their hopes are that for many, this could be the first step towards leaving homelessness for good.

General: You will be absolutely vital to the smooth running of Crisis at Christmas as one of their general volunteers.
Logistic: Join the team that makes Crisis at Christmas happen. From logistics and back office roles to driving vehicles, from co-ordinating food deliveries to translating. They need key people with special skills to help deliver the event.
Service: We need a whole host of people with special qualifications to give our guests access to services they usually miss out on, including medical professionals, advice practitioners, hairdressers, alternative therapists, caterers and dog handlers.
Activities & Entertainments Volunteer: Performers, musicians, artists, teachers, wellbeing practitioners, sports coaches and more required to help us inspire and entertain guests at their centers.
Get involved by registering here.

2. Tea Time with Contact the Elderly
Once a month, normally on a Sunday afternoon, Contact the Elderly brings together older guests from their home by a volunteer driver, and taken to a volunteer host’s home, where they join a small group for tea, talk and companionship.  The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month, but the charity’s drivers and older guests remain the same. This means that over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness is replaced by companionship. You can read about the three different ways to volunteer at Christmas with Contact the Elderly, or get started straight away by  filling in the application form here.

3. London YES Group Basket Brigade
The Basket Brigade is built on a simple notion: one small act of generosity on the part of one caring person can transform the lives of hundreds. It takes only one light to dispel the darkness, and even just one basket or a few, to bring hope! The act of giving a basket of much needed food to a stranger is a very very moving experience. The connection and emotion felt by you and the receiver is incredible, there is no other feeling that comes close. Giving baskets is probably one of the most humbling and emotional situations you will ever experience. – It truly is a greater joy to give, than to receive – experience it for yourself this year. Sign up to be part of the amazing team that pack and deliver the baskets.

4. Card Aid, Help over 300 charities in one or two hours
Sometimes love expressed through words in the best gift of all. Card Aid is a charity that produces Christmas cards for about 300 different charities to sell to their supporters. Throughout the UK there are around 30 Card Aid shops that need extra help over the festive period. This opportunity would suit those who cannot spare time on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, but who could spare a couple of hours in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Get you and your whole family to start writing your Christmas Cards today.

5. Give as You Live
For those juggling several family visits on top of work during the holidays, here's a great way to spread some cheer through Christmas shopping. Sign up for Give as You Live, the award-winning giving platform that allows members to shop at thousands of partner retailers and brands such as Apple, Burberry, Fischer-price and more. For every purchase, they donate a portion to any UK cause or charity you fancy. Best part is, it doesn’t cost you a penny extra and it actually gives you a worthy reason to shop until you drop!

Merry Christmas and Happy NewYear!

Photo by The Good Food Guide

F R O M   T H E   E D I T O R
At Conscious, we are inspired by remarkable people, and so we set out to tell stories that highlight real human interactions and human dignity. You can read more stories like this when you pick up your copy of Conscious Magazine. Subscribe today via our Conscious Shop and sign-up for Conscious Updates.

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