A new year always feels like an opportunity for a fresh start and finding ways to help others can be a great way to ring in some positive changes.

Providing much-needed support not only contributes to the local community, but it’s also likely to connect you with others and provide you with a welcome positivity boost. Here are a few ideas for ways to give back:

Have a clear-out

January is the perfect time for a clear-out – of those items you don’t need/use any more. Go through clothes and household items and donate good quality pieces to your local charity shops. And while you’re at it…

Donate unwanted Christmas gifts

Research estimates a whopping £1.2 billion1 is spent in the UK on unwanted Christmas presents. Rather than let them go to waste in cupboards or, even worse, to landfill, negatively impacting the environment, pop any unwanted gifts in your charity shop donation bag. This will make sure they end up with someone that wants them and means the money spent on them goes to a good cause.

Dig out your old phone and connect someone in need

What do you do with your old smartphone? If, like many of us, you stick it in a drawer, never to be used again, dig it back out and offer a lifeline to one of the 1.5 million digitally excluded households in the UK who don’t have internet access.2 Sign up to the Community Calling charity campaign and they will send you a freepost envelope to donate your smartphone, which is then cleaned, data-wiped and given to someone in need to provide a vital connection to family and friends.

Support local food banks

The ongoing cost of living crisis means food banks are providing essential support for more people than ever who are facing food poverty3. Give any food you can spare to The Trussell Trust, which supports more than 1,200 food banks in the UK, giving more than 1.3 million food parcels in just six months4, or donate through your local supermarket collection point.

Give your time

If money is tight, help your local community by donating your time. Check out local opportunities to volunteer at charities, food banks or community groups, or lend a helping hand to an elderly neighbour or someone else in need. Giving your time in this way is not only invaluable to charities who rely on volunteers but can also make a huge difference to people who may be lonely or in need of practical help.

To find volunteering opportunities in your local area, search online or check out https://www.gov.uk/government/get-involved/take-part/volunteer.

1 https://www.finder.com/uk/unwanted-gifts

2 https://www.hubbub.org.uk/communitycalling

3 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/oct/18/millions-forced-to-skip-meals-as-uk-cost-of-living-crisis-deepens

4 https://www.trusselltrust.org/


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