My two colleagues and I have just come from dropping off donations at Emmeline’s Pantry. Here at Macc we decided that one of the ways we could practice what we preach is by supporting a local Christmas Appeal, we asked for suggestions and picked at random. Emmeline’s Pantry was the name that came out of the hat.
Located at a Manchester Women’s Aid, they support families by providing a foodbank with a difference, offering fresh food which women are able to choose from rather than pre-bagging. This is done intentionally to give them the choice and control that has often been taken away from them due to violence, abuse or poverty.
This Christmas they are looking for the following items to offer women and their families. This will give them the power to create something of a ‘normal’ Christmas for their family with gifts for them as well as any children – chosen and wrapped by them. They also make sure every woman goes away with a week’s supply of fresh food on top of a starter, main and dessert for a special meal.
Their Amazon wishlist makes it super easy to support them for as little as 79p!
Emmeline’s Pantry has a knack of really telling the story of their charity and the difference donations make which I think we, as organisations, could all learn from. The Facebook post below was particularly moving and a powerful way to engage with their audience on social media.
It was a joy to drop off all the lovely donations made by Macc staff. They have their foodbank set up to emulate a shop with Christmas decorations and music. You can tell that a lot of love and care goes into making it a positive experience for the women who go there.
We didn’t want you to miss out on the chance to be part of the numerous fantastic local Christmas appeals so we’ve popped together a list of different ways you can support local organisations this Christmas!
Christmas for many of us is a time of joy, gifts, and precious time with family. However, it’s also an expensive time of year, and can be an especially difficult time for those families struggling to make ends meet. Wood Street Mission has provided toys for local children at Christmas since the charity began in 1869, and it continues to be our busiest time of year. Every year, thanks to our supporters, we collect thousands of toys and goodies to distribute to families in need across Manchester and Salford.
At Christmas, parents and carers can visit their ‘Christmas Shop’ at Wood Street to pick presents their children would most like, from a range donated for ages 0-14 years. We may also have other treats like advent calendars and selection boxes to take home.
They are particularly short of selection boxes this year so if you fancy picking up an extra couple they’d love to have them!
MASH is a Manchester charity that helps women trapped in sex work to empower themselves and build new lives. Each year they support hundreds of women experiencing poverty, homelessness, addiction, violence and a Christmas away from friends and loved ones.
Every Christmas they give each woman they support a thoughtful bag full of festive treats and practical items.
They are looking for kind supporters to donate a Christmas Gift Bag or Box containing these six new items: a pair of gloves, a pair of socks, a small box of chocolates, a deodorant/body spray, an umbrella, and an item of make-up.
Homelessness is devastating at any time of year but at Christmas, when Manchester is full of party goers and people shopping for loved ones, the difference between those that have and those that don’t is sadly easy to see. You can help spread some joy by donating festive treats and essential winter items and small gifts. Their deadline was the 11th December but they may still be after goodies - so just drop them a line.
Every Month Manchester is a local organisation who campaign for action on period poverty and work to provide sanitary products to those who cannot afford them.
As pressure to provide a decent Christmas for their family mounts, more and more women will go without and put their needs last.
So over this festive period (pun totally intended) they are asking offices, churches, shops- any public place to pop a box out to collect donations of menstrual products (tampons, towels etc.). These will then form the main part of their lovely period packs (which also include a chocolate bar) and donated to foodbanks in Manchester to make sure that everyone has a happy festive period and a #bloodygoodchristmas. You can spot our box on the Every Month Instagram page.
If you want to find out more or would rather donate money (that’s just as welcome) head to their website.
At the Everyone Can Technology & Gaming Centre for disabled people they are hoping to find a 3D Printer in their stocking this year.
This will be the gift that keeps on giving because when they carry out assessments for disabled people they, more often than not, need to order specific pieces of assistive equipment - forexample various joystick heads, handles, buttons etc.
You can help make their Christmas wish come true by donating to their crowdfunder here
Everyone should feel that they have a secure and safe home, and yet this Winter many people in Greater Manchester are homeless.
The legal advice that Greater Manchester Law Centre provides is a vital tool to help people out of homelessness. Many people who are forced to sleep on the streets become homeless because of unresolved legal problems (evictions by rogue landlords, unlawful benefit decisions, unmet care needs and being wrongly turned away when they seek homelessness assistance from the Council).
Here is a unique way to think of your loved ones this Christmas and at the same time help Greater Manchester Law Centre to provide the support people need. By buying one of their Christmas gift certificates you’ll be supporting legal help to secure families homes in 2019.
Volunteering over Christmas:
Perhaps you are far from home this Christmas or just want to spend the day making someone else’s day – well TLC St Luke’s are looking for volunteers to support their Christmas Day meal.
TLC St Luke's is a charity working with people living with mental health issues and for over 20 years they have opened our doors on Christmas day and provided a Christmas meal with all the trimmings, entertainment and a warm welcome for those who may otherwise be alone on Christmas Day.
If you are registered with the Volunteer Centre you can apply here or get in touch with Diane.
FareShare Greater Manchester supports communities to combat food poverty and food waste in and around Manchester. The team redistribute food to over 226 charities and community groups who provide vitally needed meals, food parcels and snacks to hundreds of disadvantaged people every day.
They always need volunteers to make sure community food members like foodbanks, breakfast clubs and community cafes get what they need to feed their communities but they are particularly busy over Christmas.
If you’re already registered with us you can apply here, otherwise get in touch directly with the FareShare team. You will need to get in touch the week commencing the 17th and be available to pop in for your health and safety induction before being able to volunteer over Christmas.
The Wellspring are asking people to donate £5 to their Christmas dinner campaign. This donation pays for a full Christmas dinner and a gift to someone who is homeless or disadvantaged. The centre is open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so if you want to lend a hand to someone then Wellspring might be the place. Get in touch with them directly to find out if there are opportunities to support them over Christmas.
Christmas is a really expensive and busy time of year for everyone and with the best will in the world, we can’t always donate time or money to the causes we’d like to. If this rings true for you then you can always take part in Kindly’s Christmas Letter campaign and send an uplifting letter to an isolated older person to help brighten up their Christmas.
If we've missed you off we are sorry but feel free to link to it in the comments so we know for next year!
From everyone here at the Volunteer Centre and from Macc – have a happy and restful Christmas, and we look forward to supporting you to do more good and useful things in the new year!