Christmas is a very important time for charities. As the season of goodwill, it’s important to remember those less fortunate than ourselves. Taking time out this season to contribute to a charity, whether through a donation or volunteering, is a great way to spread some joy this season. Helping a charity during the festive period can be extremely rewarding. Here we list some charities where your contribution would make a significant difference…

Carr Gomm

Carr Gomm is a leading Scottish social care and community development charity. They support about 2,000 people every day across Scotland to live their lives safely and well according to their choices, whilst making plans to achieve their hopes and dreams for tomorrow.

A core part of their work is to fundraise in order to fill the gaps in society; to provide support where no one else is. Specifically, this work focuses on tackling the crippling issues of loneliness and isolation; issues which are severely detrimental to our health, and increase the chance of developing longer-term health conditions such as depression, dementia and heart disease.

HeraldScotland:

Unfortunately, millions of people in the UK experience loneliness throughout their lifetime; an experience we all know can be heightened around Christmas.

Carr Gomm aims to alleviate these issues through their community projects and activities across Scotland; such as a local kitchen garden in Dundee, where a team of local staff transformed their tiny backyard into a vegetable garden. This creative venture is bringing local people together, encouraging them to meet others, get fresh air, learn more about nutrition and healthy meals, and get involved in growing their own food.

HeraldScotland:

David, local service manager, commented: “It’s fantastic to see people getting stuck in. Some of the people had never tried a vegetable before, but now they are growing their own vegetables and learning how to make soup from the ingredients.

Carr Gomm are dedicated to delivering projects that make a positive impact in the lives of people like Chris; and in communities all over Scotland. However, this is only made possible through your support. To donate to their work or find out more about how they are supporting people and communities across Scotland, visit www.carrgomm.org or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

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Revive MS Support

Over 4,000 people live with incurable Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, in the West of Scotland alone. For at least half of those living with the condition this means dealing with pain every day and struggling to even walk properly.

MS can rob people of their ability to sleep, to remember, to talk and to write. It’s a cruel illness that steals many of the faculties they need to function. 

With the right help they can do really well – their symptoms can be eased (or at least managed).  Some symptoms, like pain, bladder problems and chronic tiredness can even be prevented.   

People with MS – and their loved ones – can come to Revive MS Support to get specialist treatment and practical advice that helps them stay in control of their lives after being diagnosed with MS. 

Their dedicated staff already provide 17 separate clinical and mental-health services for nearly 2,000 people every year at the Glasgow centre.

Every year around 200 new people knock on their door for help, among them Norman and Helen Williamson. Norman reckons he lived with MS for six years before he was diagnosed – that’s six years of avoidable pain, anxiety and other suffering that he and his wife, Helen, had to cope with, without any support. Things got so bad that Norman could hardly even leave his house. 

The tailored physio, social support and care they get at Revive has completely turned their lives around, and, as Helen says, she has her husband back again. 

Remembering Revive in your Will would help ensure they can continue to help people like Norman and Helen and save them from unnecessary suffering.

Like Norman and Helen, you can do something a bit different this Christmas, something that will affect the future - use your hard-earned funds to change the lives of people living with the chronic symptoms of MS. Leave a one-off gift that will keep your memory alive and help people who have no one else to help them.

www.revivemssupport.org.uk/leavealegacy

#revivems

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Save the Children

Save the Children tries to be there in times of crisis be it war, famine, flood, epidemic or other disasters.

The money they raise also goes towards long term projects e.g. building maternity hospitals in places such as Myanmar, supplying radios to children so they can continue their education in places like Sierra Leone after the Ebola epidemic and buying and outfitting a ship to rescue refugees adrift on the Mediterranean.

In this country Save the Children supply much needed household items to families struggling to cope. They also run projects to encourage families to develop ways to help children who may be struggling at school to catch up with their peers.

HeraldScotland:

The new initiative from Save the Children is to provide vaccine to prevent pneumonia in the under 5s.

This is now the biggest killer of young children since they have been successful in reducing deaths from other illnesses e.g. Malaria.

Save the Children works in more than 120 countries, including the UK. They save children’s lives. They fight for their rights. They help them fulfil their potential.

savethechildrenayr.org.uk
www.facebook.com/AyrSaveTheChildren

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Scottish Refugee Council

This winter more than 200 refugees in Glasgow are at risk of street homelessness.

Scottish Refugee Council’s destitution service will be assisting everyone affected and with your help they can provide crucial support to hundreds of vulnerable individuals.

HeraldScotland:

Refugees can become destitute at many points as they seek protection in the UK, leaving already traumatised individuals in a very frightening situation.

The festive period is a time for getting together with loved ones and celebrating what’s important, but for many refugees it is a time of poverty, hardship and loneliness.

The Destitution Service provides vital advice, information and practical support to people who have nowhere else to turn. Every year they deliver more than 1500 advice sessions and support hundreds of people at a critical point in their lives.

In response to the news that hundreds of refugees in Glasgow will be forcibly evicted this winter, the Scottish Refugee Council team is working harder than ever to minimise the impact on the individuals and the city.  

“The consequences of these evictions are clear: extreme human suffering on a mass scale with all the immediate adverse health and exploitation risks that ensue.”

The people they support do not have family networks in Scotland or friends with spare bedrooms where they can stay in a crisis. People have no options and the increased demand on the team means additional support is vital to keep this service running. 

Donate today to support Scottish Refugee Council's Destitution Fund. Every penny will make a real difference to people in need this winter

Visit the website to find out more about their work supporting refugees in a Scotland 

www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk

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Volunteer Glasgow

The winter holidays are a time for people to come together with friends, family and loved ones.

Most of us will have memories of crowding round tables with grandparents, parents and cousins. However, for some older people living in Glasgow, Christmas is either one of the only meaningful times they spend with family, or a time of isolation for those without family nearby. 

Volunteer Glasgow’s Elderly Home Visiting Service (EHVS) (www.volunteerglasgow.org/services/ehvs/) combats this loneliness and isolation by providing Home Visiting and a Lunch Club to older people living in Drumchapel and Knightswood. 

Home Visiting matches isolated older people to trained volunteer befrienders: the two spend time together every week, building confidence, alleviating loneliness and creating opportunities to get out and about. 

Volunteer Glasgow’s Lunch Club runs twice a week in Drumchapel, serving up delicious food and an accessible, reliable chance for folk to come together, share a meal and socialise. EHVS provides the social activity and meaningful relationships that we know increase the chances of folk living in their own homes for longer and thriving in their communities.

Mary (72) says, “The Lunch Club has been great for me – I didn’t go out before and I wasn’t sure about trying it but it’s like family now.” 

Just £10 pays for the cost of activities on a befriending visit. £250 could pay for a day out for the volunteers and older people involved in both Home Visiting and the Lunch Club.

Donate to the service this Christmas by visiting www.volunteerglasgow.org/donate/