christmas donation

How businesses can give back this Christmas

There’s no denying that Christmas is going to be very different this year. Coronavirus has ushered in a new era of uncertainty, with unemployment figures continuing to rise and some Londoners relying on food banks to feed their families. With Christmas just around the corner, there’s never been a better time for businesses to give back to the local community. 

Employer-supported volunteering


Employer-supported volunteering

Employer-supported volunteering (or ESV) is when a business allows employees to use paid work hours to volunteer for a charity. This can be a specific charity sponsored by the company or a cause that is important to individuals, and is a great way to give back while also boosting morale and fostering a culture of care and positivity among employees. There may not be any office Christmas parties happening this year, but companies can still bring people together in small groups for local volunteering initiates that offer great team bonding experiences while also ensuring everyone stays safe. Hands On London connects businesses with local volunteering opportunities, whether that’s helping out at a homeless shelter, working in a local food bank or doing some DIY at a children’s centre or playground. Alternatively, there are plenty of ways that individuals can give back, both in person and virtually. Team London is a great resource for businesses looking to set up ESV this Christmas, with a variety of one-off and ongoing volunteering roles advertised across all sectors.

Ditch Secret Santa and make a donation instead


Ditch Secret Santa and make a donation instead

Forget the Secret Santa gifts this Christmas and instead donate the money to a local charity or food bank. It might not be a lot of money individually, but once you’ve tallied up everyone’s Secret Santa spend, you could end up with a sizeable donation. The Felix Project collects surplus food from restaurants, wholesalers and supermarkets and delivers it to food banks, primary schools and charities that serve the most vulnerable people in society. A donation of just £30 will deliver 165 meals to those in need – far more rewarding than buying a novelty mug or t-shirt.

Offer your services for free


Offer your services for free

While monetary donations are invaluable, many businesses can go one step further by offering their expertise as well. Team London Skill Up is a programme set up by the Mayor of London’s office to connect experienced business volunteers with staff from small charities to help teach them new skills. With many charities run by staff who have to multitask across many sectors, this training can help reduce skill gaps and ensure the smooth running and expansion of many charitable organisations. The training can take many forms depending on the specific needs of the charity, from one-on-one tutorials to groups sessions and online courses.


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