Charity Begins Elsewhere At Christmas

December 7, 2016 Sara Stewart

It’s often said that it’s better to give than to receive. Why not take this old adage to heart this Christmas and find ways to give back to the local community by offering a helping hand to those people less fortunate than ourselves.

We’ve looked at a number of charities throughout the Cotswolds and beyond – after all, kindness costs nothing and is what the spirit of Christmas is all about.

The Royal Voluntary Service focuses on taking care of the elderly in our community—it describes itself as one of ‘the largest volunteer organisations in the country with over 35,000 volunteers helping older people stay active, independent and able to continue to contribute to society.

“We do this by providing practical and emotional help where and when it’s needed.”

It’s easy enough to find out where the RVS needs support—simply visit their website, click on the volunteer tab and enter your postcode to discover all sorts of opportunities to get involved.

The Salvation Army

You don’t have to be a committed Christian to help the Salvation Army with their amazing work. Like the RVS, they do a lot to support the elderly, but they also support people who are homeless, facing poverty or having to deal with domestic abuse.

Likewise, they fight for causes like human trafficking, so there’s more to the Sally Army than navy uniforms and brass bands.

To volunteer, visit their website and click through to the volunteer page, put in your postcode and discover the wealth of support needed in your area.


Home-start Cotswolds is a charity that provides practical help, support and friendship for young families in the region.

Volunteers provide help to families who are going through difficult times, for whatever reason, by providing them with an extra pair of hands or simply someone to talk to. Christmas can be especially tough for struggling families, so why not see how you could make a real difference – visit their website to find out more about volunteering.

Trussell Trust

More and more people in the UK are on the breadline and finding it difficult to feed themselves and their families. The Trussell Trust operates more than 400 foodbanks throughout the country and there are lots of them in the Cotswolds. Visit their website to find out how you can get involved.

Volunteering Gloucestershire works with over 200 charities in the area and find placements for people wanting to volunteer. They also provide volunteers to charities in need too – visit their website for more information.


If you’re more of an animal person than a people person, then the Oak & Furrows might be the charity for you. It was set up in the 90s in the heart of Wiltshire to take care of wildlife, and looks after thousands of patients each year – from baby birds to injured deer.

They welcome volunteers so take a look at their website to find out more about this wonderful charity’s great work.

Cat & Dog

This lovely establishment takes in unwanted or mistreated cats and dogs together with other small furry pets. They are always looking for volunteers to help out at their shops or with the many events they organise.

If you know of any other organisations in the area that are looking for volunteers, please drop up a line at and we’ll try to mention them in the future or via social media.

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It’s often said that it’s better to give than to receive. Why not take this old adage to heart this Christm...