Disclaimer: Times are tough right now due to the cost of living, meaning it may not be possible for you to support charities. If that’s the case, this article isn’t for you. These are just some small suggestions for those who can donate their time and money to good causes. No judgement or pressure! 


We all think more about donating our time and money when the end of year rolls around. Whether it’s the fairy lights or the daily dose of advent calendar chocolate, Christmastime often brings out a more charitable side of us. Perhaps it’s a search for meaning beyond presents or a realisation of all the many things we have to be grateful for. Either way, many of the charities we give to in December need our support all-year around. Therefore one of my resolutions for 2023 is to spread my generosity over the 12 months rather than the one!

Make a change

With only 14% of the population carrying cash on them, ensuring you have some change in your pocket means you can donate more spontaneously.

You know those people who are often spotted in supermarkets in December wearing Santa hats and rattling donation boxes? Those lovely people are out all year-round collecting money for charity. Can’t spot one? You can often find the same charity pots placed by the till to pop loose change in.

Having change means you can give to homeless people and rough sleepers more easily.

Food for thought

In December, Foodbanks see a huge increase in donations. Often the baskets in supermarkets are full of tins and packets of pasta and Christmas treats. But come the new year, donations drop, despite the need being as urgent.

Rather than splurge your generosity at Christmas, consider giving regularly. You could do this by popping a tin for the Foodbank into your weekly food shop or, if you are able to, set up a direct debit. Giving money means those who run the Foodbank can buy what they need and keep a well-stocked warehouse.

Read more about ways to give to your local Foodbank. 

Author’s tip: Follow your local Foodbank on social media. Often, they will update which items they are in need of. There’s usually a surplus of baked beans but a lack of long-life milk or biscuits! Not on Facebook? Pop into your local Foodbank or give them a call and ask what they need!

Time is of the essence

Not everyone has the money to spare but some of us have the time!

If you have a spare hour or two, consider donating your time to a good cause. Volunteering your time is as impactful and often gets overlooked as a way to give back. These opportunities are often flexible and remote, meaning you can fit them around your commitments. They can range from telephone befriending services to mental health support services.

There are also opportunities through East Sussex County Council such becoming a library volunteer, this can include running story time sessions or becoming a Reading Friend.

It matters. Period.

Nearly one in eight women [and those who have periods] (12%) in Great Britain have struggled to buy menstrual products in the last six months, for themselves and/or a dependent. Period poverty is a growing issue, with many having to prioritise buying food or paying utility bills over buying period products.

East Sussex Library service are helping to tackle this with their Period Banks which are available at all 17 libraries. You can swing by and drop off period products in the donation bins. The bank accepts tampons, pads and reusable products such as menstrual cups.

Can’t get to the library? You can also donate online via the wish list!

Find out more about the Period Bank.


Helpful resources

Cost of living support | East Sussex County Council

Lewes Food Partnership

The Trussell Trust – Stop UK Hunger

Hailsham Volunteer Hub

Telephone friendship service | Age UK

Help Supporting People | Home Support | Royal Voluntary Service

Befriending Service Brighton & Hove, Sussex – Together Co

Telephone Befrienders – Volunteering Opportunities Available

Volunteer for Shout 85258 

Period Bank at East Sussex Libraries | East Sussex Libraries

Volunteering with East Sussex County Council

Volunteer Centre East Sussex