Together at Christmas
Estranged from family and friends, Christmas can be a lonely time for some in the Bankside area. You can remind them that somebody cares by getting involved with our annual winter appeal and help us continue to make a difference to the lives of local homeless, vulnerably housed and elderly people.
If you would like to take part in Together at Christmas 2017 it's really easy to get involved, you can:
Host a Collection Box
Encourage your colleagues to donate unwrapped gifts by hosting a collection box in your office. Why not host more than one box and see which floor or team can donate the most? Our festively wrapped boxes are 60x60x60cm in size so can easily fit into your office and begin to bring the true Christmas Spirit to life. Boxes will be delivered to your office in early November and collected in early December (dates TBC). This allows the charities to receive the gifts in time for their own Christmas celebrations with service users.
What gifts are needed? When you do your shopping simply buy an extra gift from the list below or collect financial donations from colleagues to buy gifts centrally if that works best for your team.
- Predominantly gifts for men
- New warm clothing items particularly men’s - underpants, warm socks, t-shirts, gloves, hats, joggers, jeans and footwear (size 9-10)
- Toiletries (essentials: disposable razors, shaving foam, deodorant, towels; luxuries: shower gel, moisturisers)
- Festive non-perishable food – luxury treats, boxes of chocolates and biscuits (we always run short of these items!)
- Please avoid alcohol and anything second hand (remember these are special gifts, rather than charity shop donations)
If you are a local resident or your organisation is not hosting a collection box, each year we have a number of public collection points which you can bring your gifts to. Listing will be uploaded in November.
Hold an in-house gift wrapping session
Seeing your office collection box filling up with gifts why not use this as an opportunity to bring your colleagues together and hold a fun wrapping session? Full guidance will be provided by Better Bankside so you don’t run out of wrapping paper and sticky tape. All in house wrapping sessions must be completed in early December (date TBC). This allows the charities to receive the gifts in time for their own Christmas celebrations with service users.
Join us at one of our public gift wrapping sessions
Every year we hold a number of public gift wrapping sessions to help wrap and make the donated items into parcels before donating them. These sessions will be held in the first week of December so that the charities have the gifts in time for their Christmas celebrations. Specific dates, timings and venue TBC. Wrapping sessions generally take place during the day with one late wrapping session after work. Any time you can volunteer to help is much appreciated.
Due to demand only Bankside based organisations, employees and residents are eligible to participate in these sessions.
You made 2016 our biggest collection yet, with 75 local companies hosting boxes to collect over 4,700 gifts! Volunteers wrapped the gifts at festive wrapping sessions before we delivered them to over 1,600 neighbours at local charities for homeless, vulnerably housed and elderly people in the community. These gifts, often items we take for granted, really make a difference to people who may otherwise receive nothing. Thank you to everyone for their support and to Zipcar for Business who helped us to deliver the gifts. Find out more about the 2016 campaign here.
Better Bankside’s Together at Christmas appeal offers a hand-up to Bankside’s homeless, vulnerably housed and elderly people through these local projects:
- Age UK Southwark, Exists to improve life for older people
- Blackfriars Settlement, Elderly social clubs
- Brook Drive Sheltered Housing Unit, Elderly supported residential care
- Depaul UK Nightstop London, Provides emergency accommodation in the homes of local volunteers for young people aged 16-25 from one night a week to several days or weeks at a time
- Divine Rescue, Run a day centre for homeless & substance abuse victims, providing food, clothing, advice and training to service users.
- Hopton’s Gardens, Elderly supported residential care
- Hughes House, Elderly supported residential care
- Look Ahead Joe Richards House, Hostel for single homeless men and women aged 18-65, including people with mental health needs and / or drink/drug problems
- Look Ahead Care & Support, David Barker House, Single homeless men who have slept rough, including those with low level support needs around alcohol, drugs and/or mental health.
- Look Ahead Care & Support, Manor Place Hostel, Single homeless women with medium to high level support needs including those with mental health issues, alcohol and/or drug use and women escaping domestic violence.
- Look Ahead Care & Support, New Kent Road, Single homeless people between age 18-59 who have established mental health problems. Can also accept those with alcohol and substance misuse problems.
- Look Ahead Care & Support, Southwark Bridge Road, Single homeless people between age 18-59 who have established mental health problems. Can also accept those with alcohol and substance misuse problems
- Look Ahead Southwark Move On, Semi independent living for previously homeless people
- Look Ahead Southwark Step Down, Semi independent living for previously homeless people
- Look Ahead Southwark Young People Service, Young people living in Southwark aged between 16-26 who currently are, or are at risk of homelessness.
- Lucy Brown House, Elederly supported residential care
- Ray Gunter Sheltered Housing Unit, Elderly supported residential care
- Robes Project, Supports people who are homeless by running a temporary night shelter between November and April of each year
- Southwark Supported Hostels: Keyworth Street, Elderly supported residential care
- Southwark Supported Hostels: Northcott House, Elderly supported residential care
- Southwark Supported Hostels: Wren Road, Elderly supported residential care
- St. Mungo's Grange Road, Emergency Homeless Shelter
- St. Mungo's Great Guildford St., Emergency Homeless Shelter
- St. Mungo's Recovery College, People who have experienced homelessness getting back into education
- St. Mungo's semi independent living, Supported accomodation for people who have experienced homelessness
- The Manna Society, Run a day centre for the homeless, providing things that most of us take for granted: food, a toilet, a shower, clothing, advice and medical services.
- The Salvation Army (Southwark), Support people who currently are or have been homeless. Services range from providing food, accommodation, employment support and addiction support.
- West London Mission, Supported accommodation for homeless people and ex-servicemen
Additionally, every year Better Bankside supports the Robes Project fundraiser 'The Sleepout' in Southwark Cathedral, an awareness and fundraising event that sees volunteers spend a night outside in the depths of winter. In addition to this Better Bankside connects local employees to homeless projects through a range of volunteering opportunities, contact us to find out more.