by Sue Palmer from the Volunteer Centre at Bossard House, West Street, Leighton Buzzard...
Christmas is the season of goodwill, and we at the Volunteer Centre Central Bedfordshire see this throughout December as calls come in from people wanting to use a little of their Christmas leave to do something to benefit others.
Enquiries come from a wide range of people and groups; from work colleagues hoping to do something worthwhile during an otherwise decadent time of year, to people who are not able to see their own family and friends during Christmas, hoping to help the community instead.
However, opportunities for short-term or one-off ‘micro volunteering’ can be quite hard to find. It could be that organisations find that recruiting for one or two days’ help to be a drain on resources when there’s no guarantee that people will step forward.
So, we are on the hunt for more one-off and short term opportunities. Whether you are involved with a Christmas soup-kitchen, or need someone to help with props for the local school pantomime, we may be able to link you to those wanting to help; just let us know what you are doing!
Similarly, if you are in search of the ideal way to donate your time this Christmas, pop in and see us and we can help you to find something to suit your interests and skills. Or, if you prefer to search from home, there are short-term opportunities on www.do-it.org and micro volunteering opportunities on www.helpfromhome.org.
Alternatively you could think about extending the warmth of your own family Christmas to another person.
Through www.hostuk.org you can offer one of the hundreds of international students across the country who otherwise are likely to spend the festivities alone on a closed-down university campus, a traditional British Christmas to remember. More via 020 7739 6292 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need any help finding the right opportunity, or need an extra pair of hands for your group this Christmas, call us on 01525 850559, but please note that our offices will close at 3pm on December 19 and re-open at 9.30 am on January 5.