November and December are all about indulgence. Eggnog, Christmas pudding, and the annual long awaited TV ads all portray images of family centric festivities filled with food, presents and Christmas jumpers. But the reality is that for some, this period can be very difficult, cold and lonely. So spare some thoughts for those less fortunate and spread Christmas cheer with some of our family friendly ideas below.
Get children reading with BookTrust
As new parents we discover the world of children’s centres and Bookstart can be found in most children’s centres gifting free books to children at two key ages before school to help families read together every day and inspire children to develop a love of books and reading. Become a friend of booktrust and support their work and start the conversation around the importance of reading with your little Londoners.
Run with Santa for a good cause in Victoria Park this December
A Santa Run for everyone! Over 4,000 Santa’s will hop on their sleigh and make their way to London on a Christmas mission to raise thousands of pounds for hundreds of different, worthy causes. This family-friendly festive fun run is set to bring a flash of red and Christmas cheer to Victoria Park, London, as Santa’s from up and down the country tackle the 5km and 10km courses. The route is pram and wheelchair friendly and kids over the age of 8 can get involved in the action. Make a day of it, raise some money for charity and help spread Christmas cheer to everyone.
When: 8 December
Where: Victoria Park
How much: registration is £25 for adults. More info here.
Buy toys for disadvantaged kids
There are plenty of worthy charities encouraging you to give gifts to disadvantaged children. Young people that may have had to escape domestic violence, living in poverty or having to flee their homes quickly and leave all their possessions behind. KidsOut’s Giving Tree initiative invites firms to ‘Ditch Secret Santa’ and buy toys for children in local refuge homes instead, family action has a national toy appeal and the Toy Project recycles both new and used toys to children who need them.
Buy a homeless young Londoner Christmas Dinner
Centrepoint estimate over 18,000 young people will be at risk of homelessness this Christmas and recently conducted research to explore young people’s experiences of homelessness over the Christmas period. It’s often the time of year when homelessness is very much in the minds of the public, particularly when we see people sleeping rough during the coldest weather. So do a good deed and buy a homeless young person a Christmas dinner for £10, a Christmas gift for £13, a set of toiletries for £15, or a safe, comfy bed for the night for £35. More information on what your donation could help with can be found on the Centrepoint website here.
Join the big Christmas wish chain with Make a Wish Foundation
By sending a gift to Make a Wish Foundation you’re helping to grant the One True Wish of a child living with a critical illness. So why not also send your own wish? It could be anything from a simple message of good will to a wish that they get to enjoy the special Christmas they’re dreaming of. They’ll add your wish to a giant paper chain and use it to decorate one of the places children stay when their Christmas wishes are granted!