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Together at Christmas

Bankside and You Opportunity
Join our Christmas gift appeal to make a difference to homeless, vulnerably housed and elderly people in Southwark.
Rachel Nicholson
Corporate Responsibility Manager

Christmas can be a lonely time for some in Bankside and surrounding areas, so remind them that somebody cares by getting involved in our annual festive appeal and help us continue to make a difference to the lives of local homeless, vulnerably housed and elderly people.

In 2017, the Together at Christmas collection was the most successful campaign to date - 1858 homeless, vulnerably housed and elderly people in Southwark received Christmas gift parcels thanks to the support of 99 Bankside businesses and 97 volunteers who gave up their time to wrap the 5000+ items donated ready for delivery to 26 different locations across the borough.  We also joined forces with We Are Waterloo for the first time, to reach even more vulnerable and isolated people over the festive season.

Do you want to get involved in Together at Christmas 2018? We'd love to spread a little festive cheer to even more people this year. Here's how your business can help...

1. Host a collection box
Encourage your colleagues to donate gift items by hosting a collection box in your office. Our boxes are 45cmx45cmx45cm, so can easily fit into your office.  Boxes will be delivered to your office between 7-9 November and collected in early December, ready for our gift wrapping sessions.  We'll include posters and lists of gift items, and we encourage you to decorate your box with a festive Bankside theme.

We're now taking final registrations for box hosts - sign up soon to be part of this year's appeal:  request a box for your business.

Each year we also have a number of public collection points, where gifts can be donated even if your business is not hosting its own collection box.

  • Better Bankside Community Space, 18 Great Guildford Street, SE1 0FD
  • Borough Market Information Office, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
  • Forster Communications, 49 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU
  • Mercure London Bridge, 71-79 Southwark Street, SE1 0JA
  • The Bridge, 73-81 Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ
  • LSE Bankside House, 24 Sumner Street, SE1 9JA

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2. Donate gifts
What kind of gifts are needed? It’s very simple, we ask for gifts from the following three categories:

New warm clothing: hats, gloves and scarves, warm or thermal socks, sweaters or sweatshirts and t-shirts (especially for men, in sizes M, L or XL)
Toiletries: shower gel, deodorant, shaving foam & disposable razors, moisturisers, hand cream and lip balm
Festive food: luxury, non-perishable treats such as tins of biscuits, chocolates and sweets, Christmas cakes and puddings, mince pies (please check use by dates first)

Please avoid alcohol, including any food containing alcohol, aftershave or perfume, or hand sanitiser gels.  Please also check the use by dates on any food items, as the gifts may not be opened until late December. 

Please also do not donate second hand items or store cupboard basis, remember these are special gifts. If you have any second hand items, please consider donating them to your local charity shop. Tinned foods and store cupboard staples can be donated to a food bank, please check trusseltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank to find your nearest one.

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3. Hold an in-house gift wrapping session
If you’re hosting a collection box, why not use this as an opportunity to bring your colleagues together and host a fun wrapping session. Full guidance will be provided by Better Bankside about what’s involved. All in-house wrapping sessions must be completed by 12 December so that we can deliver your gifts to the charities in time for their own Christmas celebrations with service users.

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4. Sign up to Better Bankside’s 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 early December so that the charities have the gifts in time for their Christmas celebrations.  Any time you can volunteer to help is much appreciated - it's always a fun activity, with Christmas music, refreshments and plenty of parcels to wrap.

Wrapping sessions will take place on the following dates with morning, lunchtime, afternoon or evening sessions taking place most days:

  • Monday 10th December - lunchtime, afternoon or evening
  • Tuesday 11th December - morning, lunchtime, afternoon or evening
  • Wednesday 12th December - morning, lunchtime, afternoon or evening
  • Friday 14th December - morning, lunchtime or afternoon

All wrapping sessions take place in the Bankside area, with those on Monday-Wednesday taking place at St Mungo's Recovery College on King's Bench Street, and on Friday at Better Bankside's Community Space on Great Guildford Street.  There are 25 spaces per session, with a maximum of 10 people from one business. If your business has a group larger than this, we may be able to organise an additional wrapping session for you at The Bridge Cafe on Southwark Bridge Road, subject to availability.

If you would like to sign up for the wrapping activities, please email rn [at] betterbankside.co.uk (subject: Please%20send%20me%20more%20info%20about%20the%20Together%20at%20Christmas%20wrapping%20activities) (Rachel Nicholson) to register your interest now.

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Due to demand, only Bankside based organisations, employees and residents are eligible to participate in our Together at Christmas winter appeal.

Sep 21 2018