Together at Christmas
Better Bankside's Together at Christmas is an annual festive gift appeal that supports over 2,000 homeless, vulnerably housed and elderly people in the Bankside area and across Southwark.
Every year, Better Bankside's business members host collection boxes so that their staff can donate gift items such as warm clothing, toiletries and edible treats. We collect all of the donated items from businesses in early December, and with the help of teams of volunteers, wrap them to make into gift parcels that we deliver to hostels, sheltered accommodation units and community organisations across Southwark.
Public donation points
If your business isn't hosting a collection box, you can still contribute to the appeal by donating gift items at one of our public donation points across the area:
- Better Bankside, 18 Great Guildford Street, SE1 0FD
- The Bridge, 73-81 Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ
- Borough Market Information Office, Three Crown Square, SE1 1TL
- Ibis London Blackfriars, 49 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8NZ
- Novotel London Blackfriars, 46 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8NZ
- To Live Better Cafe, Montague Close, London, SE1 9RA
You can take your donations to one of these collection points by the end of Tuesday 10 December. The public donation point at Better Bankside will be in place until 11am on Friday 13 December for any final contributions to this year's appeal.
What kind of gifts do we need?
- Warm clothing, such as hats, gloves, scarves and thermal socks, in particular, those suitable for men as over half of our gifts are donated to homeless and vulnerable adult men.
- Toiletries such as shower gels and moisturisers, but please avoid perfumes and aftershaves.
- Festive food such as chocolates and biscuits, but please avoid any food containing alcohol such as Christmas puddings or filled chocolates.
Please avoid donating second-hand items, as these are Christmas gifts, or donating staple food items such as pasta and tinned goods. If you have lots of these items that you'd like to donate, our recommendation is to take any second-hand clothing to your local charity shop, and any staple food items can be donated to the Waterloo Food Bank, which operates locally from St George-the-Martyr church on Borough High Street.
Volunteer wrapping activities
Between Monday 9 December and Friday 13 December, more than 200 Bankside volunteers will help wrap all of the donated gift items and prepare them for delivery to the organisations we support, in time for their Christmas celebrations.
These wrapping sessions are always very popular with Better Bankside's members, and they are now fully booked. However, keep an eye on @betterbankside for any updates about last-minute availability or any new sessions added to help wrap the last few parcels.
If you have any questions about Together at Christmas, please contact rn [at] betterbankside.co.uk (subject: Volunteer%20wrapping%20availability) (Rachel Nicholson), Corporate Responsibility Manager.