Guest columnist: Volunteering is not just for Christmas

Wandering through Gainsborough Town Centre it’s clear that the Christmas period is already in full swing with the lights now switched on and the shops filled with wrapping paper and tinsel.

You might not be quite ready to hang your mistletoe just yet.

But Christmas is already in the minds of those kind souls who contact us each year to find out how they can offer their support at a time which, for some, can be the loneliest time of the year.

Unfortunately, by November, many organisations have already recruited, trained and allocated their festive friends and will struggle to use your kind offer of help.

But if you still want to give some time this Christmas here are our top festive tips:

First, why not try micro-volunteering?

Micro-volunteering is any small, selfless action that helps you to make an impact on your community online without leaving home or getting out of your pyjamas.

These opportunities take from as little as 30 seconds to 30 minutes.

Look out for Christmas parcel collections at your local supermarket and around town.

Or, if you’re not keen on the colder winter days, you could offer a kind word to someone feeling low over the festive period.

Visit at www.helpfromhome.org for more information.

Ask friends, colleagues and neighbours (and check your Gainsborough Standard) to see if there is an event planned in your local community.

You could even let us know so that we can help more people to get involved.

Thinking about something longer term?

We’ll always do our best to find you an opportunity at Christmas.

But in reality, there are people who need your help all year round.

Follow our volunteering advent calendar on Facebook from December 1, to find your perfect role for the New Year.

Our final festive tip is, unlike your last-minute shopping, don’t leave it until Christmas Eve to phone us about volunteering over the holidays.

We have appointments available throughout the week both in Gainsborough and at our outreach points in Market Rasen and Saxilby.

If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering please get in touch on 01427 613470, visit our website at www.voluntarycentreservices.org.uk or call in to the Guildhall from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.