Saturday, 12 December 2015

How Students can Help those in Need this Christmas By Esra Gurkan

Father Christmas in Asda

Finding money to give to charity is not always easy for students. Most are barely managing to survive on student loans, the disappointing pay packet of a part-time job and as much as they can get from their parents. Time is short too; with endless coursework and the next exam season approaching, it can be hard to find spare hours to give up for those in need.
But even if money is tight this Christmas and you’re feeling snowed under with work, you can still make a difference by giving whatever small amount of time or cash you have left. Here are some worthy causes to consider:

Crisis at Christmas

Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people. This Christmas, they are asking for your help to reserve a place for a homeless person for £22.29.
Ian Richards, head of Crisis at Christmas, says: “By reserving a place at Crisis at Christmas you can help us provide a lifeline for homeless people this Christmas, and a chance to take their first steps out of homelessness.”
If you and your housemates, flatmates, hall-mates or any-kind-of-mates each put in a few pounds, you can help towards getting a homeless person a hot meal, warm shower and the chance to have a haircut and health check.
Next time you’re on a night out, drink one less drink and put it towards your Crisis-at-Christmas fund. It will make you feel better on the night and will help those in need.

Hands on London

Hands on London organised its fifth Wrap up London coat collection last month, in which members of the public and businesses donated their old coats to help keep people in need a little warmer this Christmas.
Founded in 2010, it is dedicated to community-based volunteering and aims to motivate and inspire people to spend some free time making positive change in society. If you live in or near London, go to an orientation session and volunteer for them this Christmas.

Food banks

We’ve all heard about the rapid increase in the use of food banks in recent years, with 2014-15 seeing over a million people nationwide using food banks, according to the Trussell Trust. Of those, almost 400,000 were children. It’s no surprise, then, that food banks need your support.

Whether you want to give a one-off gift, donate more regularly, or fundraise, food banks will welcome your contributions. The Trussell Trust works with churches and communities to open nationwide food banks. With over 420 foodbanks already in use, they are hoping that soon every town will have one.
A food box contains three days’ worth of non-perishable goods including UHT milk, tea bags, pasta, tinned meat and tinned fruit. Why not pick up a few of these items to donate next time you’re at the supermarket?

Save the Children

You could even take charity fundraising into your own hands. Naomi Clarke, a third-year student at the University of Cambridge, has written, produced and starred in her own charity single to raise money for Save the Children.
Christmas Is Here has already been watched over 4,000 times on Youtube and is available to buy on iTunes.
“Save the Children are doing amazing work at the moment with their Learn to Read scheme, as well as helping with the refugee crisis, which is why I wanted to support them,” says Clarke.

Christmas jumper day

Everyone loves dressing up and nobody loves it more than students. In what is becoming a festive tradition, After Adoption is asking people to wear their fanciest novelty Christmas jumpers on Friday 18th December and to donate on their website.
After Adoption is a voluntary adoption agency dedicated to helping people affected by adoption. By wearing your most cringe-worthy winter-warmer on Christmas jumper day, you can help towards building bonds between families so that they can enjoy the Christmas period as much as possible.

Host UK

If you’re a UK student with a place to spare or an international student staying in the UK this winter, get in contact with Host UK. They link international students at UK universities with friendly and approved hosts who offer an invitation to their home for a day, weekend, or at Christmas.
Kimberley Brough, deputy chief executive of Host UK, says: “Hundreds of international students studying across the UK have applied to Host in the hope of spending a few days at Christmas in a British home, so that they can learn about British home life and culture.”
UK students can offer theirs and their families’ time and homes to help make international students’ Christmas much more enjoyable. If you have a spare room or place at your dining table, get in touch and provide some Christmas joy to those who want to experience a real British Christmas.

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