Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription
If you can’t help them get to a shelter, some items might help
Warm clothing, hot food or a hot drink can make a massive difference to help somebody sleeping on the streets.
If you’re not in a financial position to help in these ways, a compassionate conversation costs you nothing and could lead to other ways to assist.
Yes, the festive period is commonly associated with ungenerous characters: Scrooge and the Grinch are staples of every Christmas. But that doesn’t have to be you.
It’s a great time to get involved with volunteering and make a lasting impact in your community. We’ve put together a guide of opportunities available over the festive period, and one if you’re specifically looking to volunteer on Christmas Day.
Get the latest news and insight into how the Big Issue magazine is made by signing up for the Inside Big Issue newsletter
Useful items to donate to food banks during cold weather
For those on the lowest incomes, cold weather makes a tough time even harder to manage. There are certain items which are particularly helpful to donate to a food bank during a cold snap.
Rachel Macklin, head of South England and Wales at the Trussell Trust said: “Food banks are always in need of food donations, like UHT milk, long life fruit juice, tinned meat, fish and veg, sponge puddings, custard and rice pudding. Or also food items that only need a microwave or kettle to cook.
“Some food banks are also giving out hot water bottles and blankets, but not all would have the capacity to do so, so we would always advise to get in touch with your local food bank to check what they are most in need of.”
Check on your elderly neighbours
To be blunt, dropping temperatures put the elderly in danger. Even at the start of the year, Age UK was warning that soaring energy prices would see pensioners freezing to death in their homes.
So check in on your elderly neighbours. It could be a quick knock on the door and a nice conversation. You could bring them something warm, if they need it, invite them in for a cup of tea, or ask if they need anything from the shops on your way. They’ll be grateful for the help in the cold weather.
The Big Issue’s #BigFutures campaign is calling for investment in decent and affordable housing, ending the low wage economy, and millions of green jobs. The last 10 years of austerity and cuts to public services have failed to deliver better living standards for people in this country. Sign the open letter and demand a better future.