Each year at Voluntary Centre Services (VCS) West Lindsey, we receive phone calls up to Christmas Eve from kind souls offering their tie to organisations over Christmas, writes Heather Arnatt.
Unfortunately, by the end of 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 on how you can help.
Try microvolunteering, which 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.
You could look out for last-minute Christmas parcel collections at your local supermarket and around town, or drop an extra item into the food bank collection.
Send an extra Christmas card to someone who is recovering in hospital, visit PostPals.com to find addresses.
Know a neighbour is going to be on their own?
Let them know about your local community lunch or, if you know them well, considering inviting them over for a morning mince pie.
Thinking about something longer term?
VCS will always do its best to find you an opportunity at Christmas, but in reality there are people who need your help all year round.
Follow the VCS volunteering advent calendar on Facebook to find your perfect role for the new year.
There are many opportunities to help out, depending on your interests and there are lots of roles that depend more on personal qualities such as a caring nature, good listening skills or practical experience rather than specific qualifications or experience.
Many roles are flexible too and can fit around other commitments such as work, family or studies.
For example, befriending roles need caring people with an hour or so a week to spare, mentoring roles need people with experience who can care for and share understanding with others, and shop roles look for friendly people who can give good customer service.
If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering please get in touch on 01427 613470, visit the website at www.voluntarycentreservices.org.uk or call in to the Guildhall in Gainsborough from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.