Day 24: Adopt or foster a cat

Cats ProtectionCats protection always need good homes – could this be the year you take the plunge?

They also really appreciate donations of kitten and cat food.

Background
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity. Gildersome is the charity’s new pilot centre, run on dedicated volunteer assistance. Unlike the 30 Adoption Centres, Gildersome does not have the facilities to take stray and unwanted cats/kittens directly into the centre. Instead, we rely upon a band of faithful fosterers to get cats “fit for homing”, so that they can then come into the centre and find their new forever homes

Practical Considerations
Foster carers look after cats that have been abandoned or is stray until a new permanent home can be found for them. The cats stays indoors while it is with you. You’ll be supported by the Cats protection team who can take over if you need to go away for a holiday.

Take a look at the website or email  gildersome@cats.org.uk

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Day 23: Pedal power! Recycle a cycle and help Kirklees get fitter

StreetbikesGiving or getting a new bike this Christmas? It’s easy to donate your old one to award-winning local project Streetbikes.

They help hundreds of local people to get into cycling. Children, adults and whole families are peddling their way to better health every day thanks to Streetbikes.

Background
Streetbikes runs regular events to encourage people of all abilities to cycle together, to get out and improve their physical and mental health.

They are very proud of the difference they make including helping:

  • People suffering from anxiety and depression to return to work after long-term sickness
    • Cancer patients recovering from invasive treatments to regain balance and confidence
    • Autistic people to gain the confidence to ride on two wheels
    • People who have had a stroke relearning to ride
    • Young people to learn to ride and get a recycled bike.
    • Structure and routine for people with mental health conditionsThey are a Community Interest Community. See their website for more details.

Practical Considerations
Simply take your old bike to you local council refuse site and Streetbikes will collect it, take it back to their Milnsbridge HQ, do it up and then offer it to local people who are not in a financial position to buy their own.

Streetbikes collect donated bikes on a Wednesday from; Meltham, HUDDERSFIELD, Dewsbury, Cumberworth and Birstall.

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Day 22: Give a shoebox of goodies to those who are struggling

Welcome CentreThe Welcome Centre is Huddersfield’s food bank and more. They are running a shoebox appeal – Helping to bring a little cheer in what can be a very difficult and emotional time.

PS if you have a warm winter coat that you know you’re not going to wear again, could you donate that too?

Background
The Welcome Centre, food bank and more is a small, determined and efficient charity (and company limited by guarantee).

We improve the quality of life of individuals and families experiencing extreme disadvantage in our local community by providing practical support

The centre is a locally-based, locally-focused charity that relies on local support.

Practical Considerations
Step 1 – find a shoebox and make it look a bit Christmassy

Step 2 – Fill with gifts eg
Chocolates, sweets, crisps, pop, tinned or dried foods.
Small new toys, pens and pencils, balls, skipping rope.
Unopened travel toiletries, bubble bath, shampoo. Deodorants, soap, adult and children’s toothpaste and brushes
Nail varnish, moisturising cream, shave cream
Hot chocolate, Horlicks, Christmas treats
Warm items such as gloves, hats, socks, scarves.
Please don’t include alcohol!

You can drop it off with VK or direct to the Welcome Centre or one of their collection points.
Click here to find out more 

The Centre is also after warm coats in good condition to distribute to people in need.Sign up to happy hour

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Day 21: Can you donate books for kids aged 5 to 7?

CUP booksAfter all everyone loves a good story – an after school activity club in Birstall is desperate for some books, board games and DVDs to help keep the local kids enjoying their time together.

Background
The activity club is run by local volunteers looking to create a strong sense of community by providing activities for local children.

Supported by Communities United Project.

Practical Considerations
Books that your kids have grown out of? Games they loved but don’t get out anymore? Clear the clutter and help boost this great local club.

Drop off at VK

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Day 20: Could you help a blind person to use their new radio?

blind radioBWBF is a small charity that make radios easier to use for people living with sight loss.

They need volunteers to deliver the radios, set them up and run through how to use them.

A couple of hours a couple of times a month.

Background
If sight loss means you can’t read or watch television, radio can become a lifeline to the world. A way to hear news, music, ideas and entertainment.

Blind people need radios that are easy for them to use.

Living with sight loss can be lonely and isolating – so BWBF loans specially adapted audio equipment to people who would not otherwise be able to afford it.

BWBF stands for British Wireless for the Blind Fund

Practical Considerations
Full training provided
Out of pocket expenses covered.
Email sophie@blind.org.uk
BWBF are always on the lookout for new volunteers. It doesn’t matter how much or little time you can spare – there will always be plenty you can do to help.

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Day 19: Give a gift to women who are struggling

Women Centre finalWomenCentre supports women who are facing challenges such as domestic violence, mental illness, substance misuse and homelessness. Often living on very low incomes, life is not easy. If you’d like to donate a gift it would be warmly received.

Shower gel, moisturiser, shampoo, chocolates, books, art supplies. Something useful and nice or fun.

Background
WomenCentre helps women who are affected by domestic violence, mental illness, substance misuse and homelessness.

Based in Huddersfield they help women from across Kirklees through counselling services, groups and other forms of support.

Practical Considerations
Drop off at WomenCentre or Volunteering Kirklees

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Day 18: Donate old towels and blankets

PDSAYour old towels and blankets could help to keep poorly pups and cats dry and warm in the local PDSA clinic.

The PDSA provides free veterinary services to pet owners who can’t afford to pay. Please help them out if you can.

Background
The PDSA provides vets for poorly pets of people in need. It is a well-established charity that provides free veterinary care for the sick and injured pets of owners who receive help with their housing costs – either Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit.

Practical Information
Please drop off old towels and blankets (clean and in bags) at Volunteering Kirklees.Sign up to happy hour

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Day 17: Take the good neighbour pledge

Age UKGot an older neighbour? Want to help them, but not sure how? You could:

  • Sign up for the ‘Be a good neighbour’ pledge
  • Make sure they know about Age UK energy efficiency checks

Our local Age UK has developed the idea of a Good Neighbour pledge to support people who want to do more. Sign up and you’ll get an information pack on little things that could make a big difference.

The energy checks are another easy way to help out: Age UK gives practical help for older people to stay warmer in their own home via free draft proofing, radiator booster panels and more.

Background
Feeling part of a neighbourhood can really help older people to stay well and independent. Regular friendly social contact can make a huge difference. Swap recipes, invite them round for a hot drink, ask if they need anything from the shop. It doesn’t take much and it really works.

Older people are more at risk of health problems when the temperature drops. It’s a shocking fact that cold homes are literally killing people in the UK: around one million older people simply cannot afford to heat their homes to a temperature high enough to keep warm and well. Age UK estimates that one older person dies every seven minutes from the cold in an average UK winter.

Practical considerations
If you would like more information to help you help people in your community fill out the Be a Good Neighbour pledge form and send  it in.

Ideas to be a Good Neighbour  – Once your pledge has been submitted you will be sent a be a good neighbour starter pack to help you carry out your pledge and give you more ideas.

Share on social media – when you help out spread the word on Twitter and Facebook with #beagoodneighbour. Share your stories and pictures and let us know how you get on.  @AgeUKCK.

Last year our local Age UK helped over 100 people to keep warmer in their own homes,

To qualify for the Home Energy check you must be :
• Over 65 and on low income (below £16,190 p.a )and /or
• Over 65 and vulnerable (with a physical or mental disability, a medical condition) or living in a hard to heat property.

For more information or to book your home energy check, please contact us on 01422 252040 / 01484 535994

21° and 18° are the magic numbers for staying warm this winter. Your living room should be kept at 21° and your bedroom at 18°.

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Day 16: Buy your secret santa gift in a charity shop

S2RRMake someone smile and help a good cause at the same time.

Huddersfield’s Support to Recovery shop on Brook Street (HD1 1EB)  has many unique gifts (made by local artists) for under a £5!

Shop with them and they will even gift wrap it for you.

On Saturday 17th they are running a FREE workshop to make a wreath 11am – 3pm

Background
Recycle, reuse and rejoice at a bargain!

Charity shops are a great place to get a gift.

Support to Recovery or S2R is a local Mental Health Charity that has been helping the people of Kirklees for over twenty years.

Practical Considerations
You won’t be alone! Research shows about 40% of us have bought at least one Christmas gift in a charity shop. Vintage and upcycling is all the rage, so get on board.

Leave the price tag on to show which good cause has benefitted.

On Saturday 17th S2R are also offering a FREE wreath-making workshop

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Day 15: Buy a voucher to prevent that awkward moment…

MissionIt’s a common dilemma – whether or not to give cash to somebody begging. The Huddersfield Mission has come up with an alternative – buy a meal voucher from them for £3.50, give it to the person in need who can take it to the Mission to get a warm meal and help and attention.

There are also chances to share your skills and help out  at one of the centres activity groups.

Background
Help people in need to get what they need.

The Mission Café offers good quality, nutritious, affordable, hot and cold food every day – a main meal is only £2.  Besides good food they also serve help and advice ranging from health checks, to  money and benefit information. The café is a place of safety and community where friends are made and friendships can grow. Giving a voucher can help more people to get the help they need.

There is also a real need for men’s gloves to give out.

And! Could you help out at an activity group? The centre runs regular groups where people share skills and ideas, the groups are:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Writing
  • Cooking

You’d receive support.

Practical considerations
You can buy a food voucher for £3.50  (or a book of ten at a discount) at the Mission reception.

The Mission is at 3 – 13 Lord Street, Huddersfield
HD1 1QA

There is a real need for men’s gloves to be distributed to clients. If you have any spare gloves please drop them into Volunteering Kirklees.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact

deborah.murphy@huddersfieldmission.org.uk

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